There is an “extreme risk” of wildfires across Ayrshire and a large part of the country posing harm to people and animals, the fire service has warned.

The warning, which applies to west, north-east, east and central Scotland until Saturday, April 17 was issued earlier today by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

SFRS said the fires can burn for days and devastate vast areas threatening lives and livelihoods. They urged people who live within or who may enter rural environments to exercise caution.

Irvine Times:

Local senior officer Bruce Farquharson said: “We are asking the public to exercise extreme caution and think twice before using anything involving a naked flame.

"Many rural and remote communities are hugely impacted by wildfires, which can cause significant damage.

"Livestock, farmland, wildlife, protected woodland and sites of special scientific interest can all be devastated by these fires - as can the lives of people living and working in rural communities.

"These fires can also have a hugely negative impact on the environment and the release of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

"Human behaviour can significantly lower the chance of a wildfire starting, so it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments, and always follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code."