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‘Apocalyptic’ wildfire ravages ‘Anthrax Island’ off coast of Scotland

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‘Apocalyptic’ wildfire ravages ‘Anthrax Island’ off coast of Scotland

Date of alert:

Crime Ref:


Sunday, 27 March 2022

Police Scotland

A wildfire has engulfed an uninhabited island used for anthrax experiments in the Second World War.

Photos showed flames raging on Gruinard Island on Saturday night, with a large plume of smoke rising from the blaze.

The 196-hectare island is off the west coast of Scotland between Gairloch and Ullapool.

It was sold in 1990 after scientists from the Ministry of Defence’s Porton Down facility carried out a decontamination process.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘Gruinard Island was decontaminated and deemed safe in 1987.

‘As part of the sale of the island in 1990 the MoD agreed to undertake further work, if necessary, within 150 years of its sale.’

The Gairloch Marine Wildlife Centre tweeted: ‘Those that visit regularly Gruinard Island (Anthrax Island) will be a familiar sight but it’s never looked like this before! Muirburn or Arson?

‘We don’t know yet, but sad and destructive for the wildlife either way!’

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