BEACH go-ers have been issued a warning over disposable barbeques, following dramatic footage of a “dust devil” almost picked up the blazing hot coals as it swept across the sand.
The clip, taken at Loch Morlich in Glenmore Forest Park, Scottish Highlands, saw a whirlwind of sand and dust gathering speed as it swept across the edge of the beach.
The incident, which took place on Saturday, resulted in an inflatable mattress being deposited in the forest and narrowly avoided sweeping the lit barbecue along with it.
As the clip begins, the stunned beach-goers are seen staring as the dust devil begins swirling.
It kicks up sand, growing in speed and volume and begins to sway across the water’s edge.
The camera zooms in to reveal items being picked up by the gusts as onlookers exclaim in surprise.
An employee of the park who is filming the moment says: “That is crazy, this is a really good example of why we don’t allow fires.”
The dust devil begins to die down, however, there is a moment of panic as the ranger spots that people near the site have got a lit barbeque.
The video was shared by Glenmore Forest Park on Facebook, saying: “Fires and BBQs with coals are not permitted at Loch Morlich or anywhere in Glenmore Forest Park.
“A dust devil (whirlwind) started up on the beach and passed over two lit BBQ’s.
“The whirlwind lifted an inflatable mattress up into a tree top: if it had instead lifted and spread burning embers across the forest, the results could have been devastating.
“Please be responsible when visiting the countryside and please be considerate to local communities.”
The video has stunned social media users.
Claire Crossan: “Think we need lots more education on this one – my family openly laugh at me for being dramatic when I highlight this!
And Yvonne Murray added: “That’s scary how easy fire can spread .
“I’ve experienced two house fires and outhouse fires and a hay barn fire, the speed at which fire takes off from something small and seemingly safe is a terrifying thing.”
Speaking today The Forestry and Land Scotland employee who filmed the moment, said: “It seemed like many of our visitors hadn’t seen a dust devil before and were a bit uncertain but for the most part it was harmless, if not a little messy.
“For the most part our visitors found it exciting and I wasn’t particularly worried – although I wouldn’t like to have been caught in it – but you can hear that the video ended when we realised it was passing over a barbecue that we hadn’t previously spotted.
“The risk was that the coals could be thrown into the trees and onto the peaty soil, just like the air bed.
“Thankfully it remained on the beach and we were able to extinguish it quickly.
“We want our visitors to have a really great experience, so if they wish to cook food, we encourage the use of gas stoves which are widely available in local shops.”