A North Ayrshire councillor has urged residents to do all they can prevent wildfires following an ‘unprecedented’ spate across the area.

With warmer weather bringing a usual rise in incidents, firefighters have spent much of their time dealing with never ending wildfires – most notably on the Bogside, Irvine Moor and Ardeer.

The fires – both deliberate and accidental – can burn for days and devastate vast areas of land and kill off wildlife.

As a result, a warning that wildfires are extremely likely by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has been extended to this week.

Kilwinning councillor Scott Davidson, who also serves as a firefighter, said: “These fires present significant challenges, they’re often at considerable distance from any vehicle access points on unstable, complicated and often dangerous terrain.

“Water availability is severely restricted so we have the fire engines often positioned a considerable distance due to limited road access, leaving us with having to find other water supplies.

“In incidents such as at the Bogside, firefighters are having to lift water from the River Garnock, and at low tide that’s very difficult – so there has been some significant challenges to overcome by fire crews.

“We had a sizable incident at Irvine Moor last week where there were reports of members of the community as far away as Castlepark having smoke enter their homes.

“I have never seen a gorse fire move so quickly in my career, it’s so dry just now – we’re extremely lucky we don’t have the wind driven fires.

“I would like to commend all firefighters for the significant and unprecedented demand they face in relation to wildfires just now. SFRS control staff are in turn seriously busy during this period of wildfires, and still managing to mobilise fire appliances to incidents everywhere and the senior officers that are attending as well.

“During this wildfire season business as normal continues for the fire service, control continues to mobilise fire appliances to the everyday incidents such as house fires and road traffic collisions, whilst assuring the numerous grass, gorse or woodland fires have the resources required.

“If you know anyone who has been involved in deliberate fire raising, let them know it is a very foolish way to end up with a criminal record, injure someone or even worse.

“I would urge the public to be extra vigilant.”