News round-up: Skye wildfires; Isles virus tests; shinty final fling for Peat & Diesel plus more….

Fire crews in action near Kyleakin. Pic @DunveganFire

Wildfires in Skye

Fire chiefs have urged the public to be cautious of the dangers of fire spreading following a busy weekend of incidents.

In Skye seven crews were involved day and night in tackling a wildfire in forestry land near Kyleakin at the weekend.

The fire was eventually extinguished just before noon on Sunday – a full 24 hours after the incident had been reported.

And on Monday night the local fire crew and the RNLI worked together to put out a grassfire around the Lump in Portree.

Martin Blunden, chief officer of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said that over the weekend – the first since lockdown measures were eased – Operations Control had taken a total of 1795 emergency calls, and crews had been mobilised to 1002 incidents.

He said: “Please be careful as lock-down is eased, think of your impact.

“Be vigilant in areas of countryside.  Please don’t use portable BBQs, dispose of cigarettes safely and enjoy the outdoors.  That way it will be there for you to enjoy next time you visit.”

Community MBEs

The Gairloch Community car scheme, and Feis an Rubha in Lewis are among 21 community groups’ in Scotland to win the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.

The award is known as the MBE for community groups and is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK.

It recognises outstanding volunteering in communities and was created in 2002 to celebrate the anniversary of The Queen’s coronation.

BBC Debate seeks questions from Highland audience

BBC Scotland’s Debate Night TV programme is “virtually” travelling the country, and on Wednesday 10th June its audience will come from the Western Isles and North Highlands.

The studio panel will face questions via video link from members of the public

To take part visit and click ‘Join the Audience’.

Dementia awareness week

This week is Dementia Awareness Week – an opportunity to support the 90,000 people living with dementia in Scotland and their families and carers.

Locally Alzheimer Scotland projects to raise awareness include an online Purple Quiz linking up people from across the whole of West Highland in a virtual Drop In Café on Tuesday 2nd June at 2pm.

The Rainbow Scarf project is asking people to knit or crochet squares, which will be will joined to make a rainbow scarf to decorate iconic landmarks such as The Skye Bridge and the Glenfinnan Monument.

To contact or donate visit the link or call 07920 868848 or email

Gaelic Drama to support families

Young Gaelic speakers will have the opportunity to learn introductory drama skills at home, thanks to a new series of online videos produced by Gaelic arts organisation, Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

The first videos in a new series, Sgilean Dràma (Drama Skills), have been published and more will appear regularly in the coming weeks in an effort to support pupils’ learning at home while schools remain closed.

The videos, which will also include a series of active games entitled Àm-cluiche (Play Time), are being produced in the home of Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Drama Officer Angus Macleod and can be found on Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s online channel at

Up to £2 million for fishing fleet

Inshore fishers who usually target shellfish will now be able to diversify into new markets and access fishing opportunities worth up to £2 million.

The package aimed at helping the industry during the coronavirus means that Scottish vessels will be able to access additional fish quotas around the North Sea and west coast of Scotland.

This additional quota includes: an additional 800 tonnes of mackerel – 500 tonnes in the North Sea and 300 tonnes in the west coast.

Additional demersal quotas including haddock, anglerfish, whiting, pollack, saithe, ling, lemon sole and skates and rays for the North Sea and west of Scotland are also included.

Isles virus testing

A Western Isles system to ensure local residents have full and direct access to the UK Government Testing Scheme will not be fully implemented until next week.

The national testing system, which introduces testing and contract tracing to anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 over the age of five was launched this week.

The national testing system is separate to the local testing arrangements, which remain in place.

Eligible Western Isles residents can currently access the national system through NHSInform by a system of postal self tests.

Regional drive through and mobile testing units are not accessible to Western Isles residents.

Kingussie will host the next Camanachd Cup

Peat and Diesel will be part of the entertainment

Following last weeks expected cancellation of the 2020 competitions the Camanachd Association has confirmed with title sponsor Tulloch Homes and Kingussie Camanachd Club that the plan to host shinty’s Camanachd Cup final in Kingussie will be postponed for one year and will now take place on 18th September 2021.

Peat & Diesel, Manran and Keir Gibson will all be performing at the Final Fling afterwards.

If you bought a ticket for the original show, then you can hang on to it as these will be valid for the new date.

Tickets for the big day are on sale, online at