The day after a wildfire devastated a forest in Highland Perthshire, groups of youngsters deliberately set fires in the Angus Glens it has been claimed.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service warned of the risk of wildfires during the dry weather following the massive blaze at Tay Forest Park near Pitlochry which affected up to 60 hectares of woodland.
But it has now emerged that the following day, as fire crews continued to battle the Highland Perthshire blaze, groups of teenagers apparently deliberate set fires to land in Angus.
Three fire crews spent more than three hours making the area safe near Cortachy on Friday evening after the alarm was raised by an employee of the Airlie Estate.
Malcolm Taylor, estate factor at Airlie Estates, said: “There was a big fire at Glen Cally which we are pretty certain was intentional as there were youngsters in the area.
“At the moment, with the dry conditions, it could have been a real catastrophe.
“There was also a fire in the River Walk area on the same evening. The estate foreman caught another group of about 15 youngsters near there.
“The fires were put out by the fire service and the matter was also reported to the police.”
There were reports of a community noticeboard at River Walk being vandalised and litter being left in the same area on Tuesday night with the finger again being pointed at groups of youngsters.
Local resident Hector MacLean said: “The large fire on Friday night was surrounded on three sides by woodland.
“There was a timber contractor on site who was concerned about his vehicles.
“It had the potential to be very serious if the flames had leapt up toward the trees.
“It was concerning but thankfully the fire engines got there in time.”
The issue of wildfires has previously been discussed at Kirriemuir Landward East Community Council.
A Scottish Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: “We were called out to a wildfire near Kirriemuir at 5.35pm on Friday and we mobilised three appliances to the incident.
“Crews left the scene at 8.40pm after ensuring the area was made safe.”