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Engineers evacuated at Scottish wind farm as wildfire spreads

wind farm fire

Engineers have been evacuated from the Strathy North wind farm in the Scottish Highlands as firefighters tackle wildfires in the area.  

The wildfires have damaged cables running from the wind farm to the National Grid, interrupting power to hundreds of homes. 

The Strathy North wind farm of 33 turbines, situated 7km from Strathy village in north Sutherland, became operational in 2015. 

A SSE Renewables spokesperson confirmed several members of staff had been evacuated from the site for safety reasons.

“SSE Renewables Strathy North wind farm site remains closed,” the spokesperson said.“SSE Renewables is working closely with Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks and the emergency services as efforts to contain the wildfire continue and will only return to site when it is safe to do so.”

The damaged cable will only be repaired once engineers return to the site, but power has been restored to affected areas through back up generators. 

The size of the fire spread has already been reduced from 2,000ha down to approximately 400ha and measures around 5km in length, but continues to move towards the wind farm. 

Helicopters have been used to water-bomb the fire from the air, and volunteers from the RSPB are digging trenches to prevent fires from damaging protected bird nesting areas. 

The fires follow a similar outbreak in April in Moray, that threated the Paul’s Hill wind farm at Knockando, south west of Elgin.  

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has confirmed six fire engines remain on site fighting the fire, which has consumed 25km2 of land so far. 

SFRS Sation manager Alex McKinley said: “We would like to remind the public to stay away from this area this time, and remind the local community to ensure windows are closed if smoke travels in the direction of their homes.  

“Our firefighters will remain on scene for some time yet.”  

Pictured: Moray wildfires near Pauls Hill wind farm.  

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