Had a lovely walk through Menstrie Glen and up to Dumyat yesterday but was concerned to see the plumes of smoke rising from along the face of the Ochils from the top of Dumyat. Coming back down into Menstrie we saw a small fire and a group of youngsters nearby and was all ready to phone the appropiate people when we saw there were already firemen in attendance. I defintately heard one of the kids ask one of the firemen 'if he would go to jail for this'.
On speaking with one of the locals who lives a bit further along the road he said the kids had been going along the path that runs along the bottom of the face of the Ochils and setting things alight (I won't repeat his excellent idea on what should be done with the kids that caused it!!). The dead braken was very dry and there was a a steady wind blowing which really caught the flames and fanned them to heights of several feet, especially when it got hold of the gorse. We were very lucky our path wasn't blocked - we'd have had quite a long detour back to the car otherwise. There was another fire at the back of the houses in Menstrie on the side of the hill and a few people were coming out looking a bit concerned. Even though the flames were a reasonable distance away you could really hear the crackling and noise of it - quite unnerving really.
I checked the local fire station report here:
but it indictaes that it was controlled burning by the farmer, but find that a bit odd against what was seen and heard at the scene. It was frightening to see just how quickly it spread across the ground. As far as I'm aware the properties were fine and no-one was injured.