Friday 9 December 2016

Air Corps to water bomb biggest fire to take hold at National Park

Published 10/04/2015 | 14:25

An Air Corps AW139 helicopter complete with
An Air Corps AW139 helicopter complete with "bambi" bucket carrying 1000 litres of water, was tasked to assist with the efforts to minimise fire damage to Killarney National Park, Kerry this afternoon. The fire had spread over several kilometres due to the dry conditions. (Stock photo from Donegal in 2011)
An Air Corps AW139 helicopter complete with "bambi" bucket carrying 1000 litres of water, was tasked to assist with the efforts to minimise fire damage to Killarney National Park, Kerry this afternoon. The fire had spread over several kilometres due to the dry conditions.

Fire fighters are trying to bring under control what is believed to be the biggest wild fire to ever take hold in the Killarney National Park.

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The Air Corps helicopter is assisting the fire service in its efforts to bring the blaze under control and have been asked to water bomb the gorse fire that is threatening thousands of acres in the national park as well as the wildlife that inhabits the area.

The Air Corps will begin to help extinguish the fire at 5pm today using a 'Banbi bucket' which has a capacity for 1,000 litres and which the crew will refill using water from the nearby lakes.

The county's fire service is already over-stretched and the latest outbreak of wildfire follows the busiest 24 hours recorded by the service earlier this week.

Eight of Kerry's fire brigade units are dealing with incidents at locations in Sneem, Kells, Portmagee, Dingle and Inch and at the Derrycunnihy area of Killarney National Park.

Kerry County Council has also warned that homes are at risk because of the fires.

A spokesman said Kerry Fire and Rescue Service remained extremely busy through yesterday and last night with further wild-land fires.

Between 2.45pm yesterday until 4am today, units responded to 23 calls to 17 incidents in 14 separate locations in Co Kerry.

Of these incidents, 14 were wild-land fires.

The Kerry Fire and Rescue Service has appealed to land and commonage rights owners to exercise extreme caution with fire and never to engage in burning without notifying its regional control centre in advance.

"Human lives are being put at un-intended risk," the spokesman added.

"The weather can play a major and un-controllable role with wild-land fire spread. Family homes are at risk today in several of these areas."

The burning off gorse is illegal at this time of year.

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