benfire 1.jpg 2Fire begins to spread along Loch Lomondside at Rowardennan.

By Democrat reporter

Ben Lomond and the woods along the Bonnie Banks near Rowardennan were in real danger of being engulfed in a fast spreading fire on Easter Sunday evening.

Well done then to the Fire & Rescue Service for dealing promptly with a potentially dangerous fire in the woods just north of Rowardennan.

Four fire tenders with their crews attended, putting out a fire which had spread rapidly under the Oak Wood, through the bone dry vegetation. In the end the fire was contained to a few thousand square metres, but could have been a lot worse.

The Ben Lomond Ranger Service says no thanks at all are due “to the four or five men who were seen leaving the vicinity of the woods where the fire took hold, then disappeared without reporting it or seeking help of any sort”.

The Fire Service were also hindered by the large number of vehicles parked along the access track north of the car park, beyond the end of the public road.

These restricted the width of the track, causing one Fire service vehicle to sustain damage from rocks as it tried to get past the cars.

“Cars were parked here despite signage indicating vehicles shouldn’t be on the track, and situations like this are why it is so important to try and keep the path clear, “the Ranger Service spokesperson added..

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Cars take up half the narrow road along Loch Lomondside at Rowardennan.

He said: “It is completely understandable though that people want to get out and enjoy the great weather, and get out to experience places like Ben Lomond and Loch Lomondside, and that after travelling out the last thing they want to do is turn around and go home because there’s nowhere to park.

“How can we stop situations like this happening though, when the combination of great weather and public holiday leads to these narrow, rural roads being overwhelmed with traffic?

“If the fire had happened on Saturday it is unlikely the Fire & Rescue Service would have been able to get to Rowardennan at all due to the number of cars both on the road and parked on the verges.

“A better public transport solution, along with bigger parking areas further down the lochside, would seem to be a way to go, but this would be difficult to keep viable through the quieter periods.

“It is a perennial problem, which seems difficult to address, but thankfully didn’t lead to a much worse situation last night.”

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