FIREFIGHTERS have spent a second night tackling a large forest fire in East Ayrshire.

The blaze on a hillside at Loch Doon was first reported at about 6:50pm on Saturday, and at least five miles of hillside has since been affected. Fire crews have been working to control the conflagration with support from Police Scotland and Forestry Commission Scotland.

The public have been asked to avoid the area. East Ayrshire Council has set up a welfare centre in the nearby town of Dalmellington.

The cause of the outbreak is still under investigation but the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said recent dry weather has heightened the wildfire risk.

A number of other fires broke out over the weekend, including one near Paul's Hill wind farm near Ballindalloch.

SFRS assistant chief officer Lewis Ramsay said: "Our crews across Scotland have had a challenging weekend attending numerous incidents. Due to the outstanding collaborative working with land owners, The Forestry Commission and Police Scotland we have been able to ensure the safety of our communities.

"I would like to thank the wider community for their ongoing support, the hard work of our partners, and the crews on the ground for their tireless efforts."