A FOREST ranger was attacked by campers when he asked them to extinguish a fire. 

Police are investigating after the Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) staff member was assaulted by two people in Fife’s Tentsmuir forest, just days on from the woodland being damaged by a major wildfire.

With that blaze having been started by a campfire, the ranger had approached the campers after a member of the public raised the alarm about the new one. When he warned them of the heightened fire risk and asked them to extinguish the fire, they refused, confronted the ranger, and followed him to his vehicle before damaging it.

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David Leven, FLS’s East Region manager, said: “Unfortunately, this sort of unacceptable attitude and behaviour is becoming more of an issue for our rangers and for the staff from other organisations.

“For this to happen soon after Tentsmuir was damaged by a wildfire and when a much larger wildfire at Cannich has been burning for over a week is hugely frustrating and disappointing .

“We are there to protect and look after our forests and woodlands, to promote access and to make sure that members of the public are safe.” 

Campfires are strongly discouraged at any time of year and in any location. As we have reported, a wildfire in Cannich, south of Inverness, is likely to be the biggest on record in Scotland, having burned for more than a week. It is believed to have been started by wild campers. 

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David added: “Most people know how to look after the countryside and themselves but there are some that aren’t as aware as they should be that their right of access requires that they act responsibly.  

“With the underbrush and land being exceptionally dry, the risk of wildfire is even greater than normal and no-one should be taking any chances with campfires.”