A wild fire lit up the skyline above Loch Fyne last night, burning scrub and grassland to the east of the wind farms. The A83 trunk road was briefly closed as the fire threatened the main transport artery to Kintyre. The Ormsary Estate Emergency Team, equipped with the specialist tools needed to tackle hill fires, joined the local Fire Brigade teams to ensure there was no risk to life or structures. This morning at first light the Ormsary Team set out up the Srondoire hillside and extinguished the blaze as it approached neighbouring tree plantations using an ATV mounted fire pump.
The extended period of dry easterly winds has resulted in a greatly raised wild fire risk across Scotland, with significant levels of dry fuel built up on the open hillsides. Whilst there was little risk of damage to the wind farm, due to the low overnight temperatures and calm winds, it was important to close the fire down before it spread any further into neighbouring forestry plantations. The local Fire Brigades are poorly equipped to tackle wind land fires in remote locations, and Estate fire crews are often the first line of attack for such fires. Ormsary is able to fund this resource only as a result of generating income from renewable energy. The eight wheel drive ATV and custom high pressure fire fighting equipment used by the Ormsary Farmers' Team was funded from the revenue generated by the community owned wind turbines. This fire fighting resource adds to the Wind Farm's own snow plough, that opened up the vital public roads during the Kintyre blizzards of March 2013 - a wider public benefit of local enterprise not always appreciated by the wind farm critics.