A WARNING has been issued to smoking golfers in Selkirk after a major fire was narrowly averted.

Chairman of the town's community council, Alistair Pattullo, came to the rescue after discovering an area of heather and scrub alight last month.

Flames had taken hold during the weekend before the town's Common Riding and the wind was blowing the fire in the direction of the golf course's third hole

Mr Pattullo said: "It was a fairly large area that was burning and, with the wind, it was spreading quickly.

"If it had gotten over the fence and onto the grass it would have caused a lot of damage to the golf course.

"The ground was tinder dry at the time and it would have spread along the golf course pretty quickly."

Mr Pattullo's 999 call saw fire crews arrive within quarter of an hour and extinguish the flames.

The council chairman added: "Fire officers reckoned the fire was started by a discarded cigarette.

"It is worth reminding golfers that if they are smoking they must dispense of their cigarettes safely."

Local councillor Gordon Edgar is a member of the Selkirk Hill Management Group.

He said: "Everyone should be reminded about the dangers of discarding cigarettes, especially at this time of year."