The number of wildfires recorded in Scotland last summer was around four times higher than in 2017.

Statistics published by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) show that between June and August last year, 2,329 grass and woodland fires were recorded across the country.

That was a rise on the 624 recorded over the same period the previous year.

The SFRS data shows the highest number of fires was recorded in the East Ayrshire, South Ayrshire and North Ayrshire region, with 293 blazes.

In Glasgow city, 258 fires were recorded, and the figure for Falkirk and West Lothian was 251.

READ MORE: Wildfire rips through sixty acres of scrubland in Scottish Highlands

The lowest number recorded was in the Western, Shetland and Orkney isles, where there were 11 fires.

An increase in deliberate primary and secondary fires was also highlighted.

Primary fires generally involve property and include buildings, caravans, motor vehicles and plant and machinery, whilst secondary fires are often minor and include the burning of rubbish, grass and derelict properties.

Last summer, it is estimated there were around 500 deliberate primary fires and almost 3,200 deliberate secondary fires - a rise on the roughly 1,700 deliberate secondary fires during the same period of 2017.

READ MORE: Moray wildfire ‘shaping up to be one of largest seen in UK for years’

The fire service has launched a #StampItOut summer safety campaign to warn those who start fires on purpose and risk the safety of communities that it will do everything in its power to help Police Scotland trace them.

SFRS assistant chief officer Ross Haggart said: "These incidents put lives, property and the environment at risk. They can also delay firefighters in getting to a real emergency such as a house fire where every minute counts.

"Firefighters will be there to respond when called upon, but please think twice before deliberately starting a fire."

On the rise in the number of wildfires across Scotland, Mr Haggart added: "We have seen already this year the massive impact a large fire in the open can have.

"Huge swathes of land can be left ravaged by these fires, which can spread easily through high winds.

"The SFRS works tirelessly every year with our partners to help keep communities safe from these types of incidents.

"But communities can help us too. That's why we are appealing to people to take great care - it is crucial that people act safely and responsibly in rural environments and follow the countryside code.

"Just one heat source, like a campfire ember, can cause it to ignite, and if the wind changes direction even the smallest fire can spread uncontrollably and devastate entire hillsides.

"People can help us by making sure they dispose of litter and smoking materials carefully while in rural areas."