Watch: Raging Galway forest blaze 'sparked from deliberately-set gorse fire' - authorities
Efforts are continuing to bring a fire at one of the biggest forests in the country under control in Co Galway.
Officials from Coillte and fire crews monitored the massive forest and bogland fire across a vast expanse of Connemara throughout the night.
Coillte staff and fire services have been on site since 5.30am and civilian and army corps helicopters have been carrying out water drops since early this morning.
Army personnel have been mobilised to assist in brashing, as the focus of this morning’s activity is to control the fires on a number of fronts including fire events in the proximity of the 169MW Galway Wind Park construction site.
Gardai in Galway have asked members of the public to refrain from entering the Cloosh Valley area. It has said persons and vehicles entering the area are posing difficulty for the Emergency Services.
In particular the Seanafeastin Road should be avoided except for Emergency vehicles and local residents as it is dangerous to enter and there is a possibility of becoming trapped.
Over 1,500 hectares of forestry and 2,000 hectares of bog land have been destroyed in the fire to date.
While the cause of the fire at Cloosh Valley has yet to be definitively established, Coillte says that it is believed that the fire originated from deliberately set gorse fires, which subsequently spread onto Coillte owned forestry and the Galway Wind Park site.