LONDON, May 3 (UPI) -- Scores of wildfires burned in Scotland and Northern Ireland Tuesday after the warmest April since the 17th century.
Fires were also reported in Lancashire in northern England, the BBC reported. During the weekend, two fires burned in Swinley Forest near Ascot in the south.
In Scotland, at least 40 forest and heath fires have been reported since Friday, The Scotsman said. Firefighters worked a blaze Tuesday on the Balmoral Estate, Queen Elizabeth II's Highland Retreat.
In Ireland, fires were reported on both sides of the border. The Northern Ireland Fire Service said many of the gorse fires there appeared to have been deliberately set, The Belfast Telegraph reported.
Fire officials called the fires on the border area "unprecedented," The Irish Times said.
Scottish authorities said some of the fires threaten ecologically sensitive areas and reforestation projects, The Scotsman said.
In Torridon Forest in the western Highlands, a blaze threatened a National Trust for Scotland reforestation project. Helicopters rescued two hiking parties, with a total of six people and a dog being pulled out of danger.
A woman camping with her parents was rescued by boat. The parents called the coast guard when they returned to the area from driving their son to the train and discovered the fire had cut them off from their campsite.