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Clear-up in Forres: Smoke on the water

By Alistair Whitfield

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Firefighters from Forres have been given the go-ahead for their 'annual' burn clear-up this weekend.

Forres firefighters during a previous clear-up.
Forres firefighters during a previous clear-up.

During lockdown the crew were limited to essential training and emergency calls only.

The upshot is it's been two years since they were able to carry out their last burn clearance.

Crew commander Davie Raeburn said: "We got the go ahead from our local station commander Willie Chisholm to do off-station activities when the covid restrictions were eased.

"The reason for doing the clear-up is just really having pride in our little town.

"We have the resources and the training to do something about the ever-growing mess, so we now incorporate our water rescue training while doing something worthwhile.

"We'll have a four-man flood responder team in the water in full safety gear as well as a team of four on each side of the burn with life jackets.

"We clear the litter using black bags and litter grabs kindly borrowed from the Forres community clear-up team.

"Once full, the bags are loaded onto a trailer supplied by one of our crew, then taken to the recycling centre.

"We have a crew of 14 taking part which is our full compliment at Forres community fire station.

"The numbers are pretty low so we are actively recruiting at the moment, with jobs being advertised through myjobscotland.

"This will only be the third time we have carried out the clear-up, but we do aim to do it annually usually on the Sunday before the early May Bank Holiday.

"Please come down and support us."

During past clear-ups the crew have found all sorts of items, including discarded bikes and shopping trolleys.

Once they even found a laptop which was handed over to Police Scotland.

But by far the biggest polluter is plastic bottles

The clear-up will commence from Fluers Bridge at 1pm on Saturday.

The crew aim to finish at the Mosset duck pond at about 4pm.

Anyone who would like a free home fire safety visit can hand over their names.

Advice can also be given about new safety legislation due to come into force next February.

Collection tins for the firefighters charity will also available, with any donations most welcome.

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