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  1. ITV Report

Firefighters battle huge wildfire in Dumfries and Galloway

A water drop from a helicopter was needed. Credit: SFRS

Nine fire engines and 70 firefighters and forestry workers have brought a huge wildfire under control near Kirkcowan in Wigtownshire.

Firefighters battled for 24 hours to contain the blaze burning in the Dumfries and Galloway countryside.

Efforts to bring it under control began shortly after 4pm on Sunday, in searing heat with temperatures approaching 80 degrees.

Nine fire engines and around 45 firefighters were on scene at the height of the incident, with a further 25 forestry commission personnel assisting in the operation.

A tactical water drop from a helicopter was called-in this afternoon to support ground-based teams using backpacks and hand-held beaters to knock down the flames.

The fire was brought largely under control by 3pm today.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) and forestry commission personnel are likely to remain at the scene for some time as efforts continue to ensure the fire is fully extinguished.

This was a complex and physically demanding firefighting operation that required a co-ordinated approach over a very wide area.

Our teams faced three large fire fronts as well as isolated pockets of burning grass and woodland.

A wildfire is inherently unpredictable and they also had to work on terrain that was difficult to access and in blistering heat for a prolonged period of time.

The professionalism of our firefighters and our forestry commission colleagues was absolutely essential to ensuring this incident was safely brought under control and I want to pass on my thanks to everyone involved.

– Station Manager Keith Murray