Heatwave brings fears of gorse fires

A gorse fire near Belleek which spread over a large area  in previous years

AS Fermanagh basks in the sunshine, Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) is warning of the extreme dangers of deliberate fire setting in the countryside.
Last year, NIFRS attended numerous gorse fires across the county particularly in the Florencecourt area, and on Cuilcagh Mountain, resulting in the popular boardwalk being closed to the public in May.
Earlier this month, around 10.30pm on May 6th, one fire appliance from Irvinestown attended a gorse fire on the Fingerpost Road, Trillick Road, Irvinestown. It is believed that it was controlled burning, and the incident was dealt with shortly after the fire service arrived.
In an effort to prevent similar occurrences, NIFRS is reminding everyone that dealing with these types of incidents not only puts Firefighters’ lives at risk but also the lives of everyone in the local community and puts additional pressure on operational resources.
Mark Smyth, Fire Service group commander explained, “We have already dealt with the first gorse fires of the year in the last number of weeks so we are appealing to the public, and young people in particular, to help us by acting responsibly. Tackling gorse and wildland fires is extremely challenging for us. It means deploying Firefighters and equipment to remote locations. This can be for a prolonged period of time with our Crews working under hazardous and intense heat to bring the fires under control. These fires can easily spread and even a slight change in wind direction can pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA