wildfires scotland May 2018
More than 1,000 properties in the Highlands were without power yesterday after a wildfire damaged the Lochcarron substation.

The loss of power to hundreds of homes and businesses in the north west of the region happened on one of the busiest bank holiday weekends of the year.

Proprietors of hotels and restaurants were unable to provide food for their guests as SSE scrambled to reconnect them to the grid.

The areas affected were Torridon, Diabeig, Shieldaig, Alligin, Kishorn, Strathcarron and Applecross.

Three wildfires engulfed hundreds of square metres of hillside in Torridon, Strathcarron and on Skye.

The proprietor of the Applecross Inn, Judith Fish, said the problems could not have come at a worse time.

She added: "It's a bank holiday weekend - and the west coast has been under siege. We have had 20 people queuing at the bar for the last two days to put orders in. Can't think of anything worse to happen at such a time.

"The power company were in contact, they were excellent actually, they said around 1,200 households and businesses had no electricity. But we managed to keep the show on the road."

A SSE spokeswoman said: "There was damage done to the transformer at the Lochcarron substation as a result of the wildfire in the area.

"We isolated the incident and made the network safe. People in the area were cut off from about 2pm and they were all back on line at some point around 5pm."

Three appliances were sent to battle the flames covering 300 square metres at Achintee, near Strathcarron, at 2pm.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that three appliances were called to Torridon at around 10am and were still battling the flames yesterday evening.

She added: "The SFRS is currently in attendance at a wildfire on Torridon, Highlands.

"Operations Control mobilised two fire engines to the area after the call came in at 10.30am on Sunday.

She added: "Firefighters are currently extinguishing the fire and will remain on scene until the area is made safe."

Meanwhile, six fire crews were called to another wildfire off the A863 near the Sligachan Hotel on Skye at around 9.50am to attend to a wildfire covering two miles.

Police Scotland is investigating the cause of the Torridon fire and want to trace the occupants of two campervans seen in the area.

The first is a small red van which two men had been travelling in and the second is a white camper van believed to have a Dutch registration.

A police spokesman said: "Officers would like to speak to any persons who may have been in the area and may have witnessed anything suspicious."

The SFRS has a wild fire warning in place for most of Scotland, due to the warm and dry conditions.

The latest blazes came as gamekeepers from Scotland's regional moorland groups warned the public to heed safety advice.