Fears of long-term damage after massive blaze at sand dune
A MAJOR fire on a sand dune cited as an area of "special scientific interest" has left locals fearing that "regressive" long-term damage has been done.
The blaze broke out close to Tramore, Co Waterford, shortly before 11pm on Sunday.
Senior fire officer Des O'Brien said it was one of "the biggest that officers have seen down in that area".
It is estimated that over 20 acres was damaged in the blaze, and Mr O'Brien said that a cause has yet to be established.
Five units, three support units and 24 members of the fire service attended the scene from Tramore, Dunmore East, Kilmacthomas and Waterford city.
They fought the fire until it was brought under control at 4am yesterday.
"Shortly before 11pm on Sunday, the first call came in and Tramore (fire service) went down and investigated it," said Mr O'Brien. "The scene was about a two or three-mile walk away. When they saw how big it was, they called in another few fire brigades."
Although nobody was injured, locals last night said they were devastated as "it is a special area" that was ravaged by the flames.
Local area representative Joe Conway said that the area of conservation has "very unique dunes, habitat and eco-system".
"The damage that can be done in one night could take 10 years to repair," he said.