Appeal for end to deliberate setting of fires

Appeal for end to deliberate setting of fires

26 April 2010

published by www.irishtimes.com


United Kingdom —    The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has appealed for an end to deliberately started gorse and bush fires, following hundreds of such incidents since the recent dry spell began.

The latest fires were in the Mourne Mountains, where 50 hectares were set alight on Cave Hill, overlooking Belfast.

The Mournes fire, the second major incident in two days, required the services of seven fire appliances and dozens of firefighters to tackle it in the early hours of Saturday.

This followed another major blaze on Friday on the face of Thomas’s Mountain, which overlooks Newcastle, Co Down.

Firefighters stopped the fire from spreading to Newcastle Forest, but could not stop it scorching many hectares of mountainside. Saturday’s fire took hold in the Annalong river valley near the foothills of Slieve Binnian, the second highest Mournes peak.

Fire service group commander Lloyd Crawford told the BBC: “This has pulled in officers from all around the surrounding area. When we are up here fighting fires at the tops of the mountains, personnel are not available to fight house fires and other things that people might require us for.”


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