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Tuesday 25 September 2018

Fire fighters in one county deal with 42 fires in two days

Fire over Military Road in Wicklow. Picture: Wicklow Fire Service
Fire over Military Road in Wicklow. Picture: Wicklow Fire Service
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

As temperatures continue to soar across the country, one county's fire services attended 42 gorse, forest and wildland fires in two days.

Wicklow County Fire Service has attended 42 gorse, forest and wildland fires over the last two days.

At its peak on Thursday afternoon up to 70 fire-fighters were involved in firefighting operations at various locations throughout the county.

The most serious of these where located on the Military Road near the Sally Gap, at Lough Bray, at Rocky Valley in Kilmacanoge and at Windgates in Greystones. Crews have been working tirelessly on the ground and are also maintaining the capability to response at short notice to any other serious incidents that may occur.

During the current spate of gorse/wild land fires across County Wicklow, we have worked closely with a number of agencies who have eased the burden on firefighters at critical times.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government coordinates daily and processes requests for Air Corps assistance nationally. We are very grateful for the support of Air Corps helicopters at a number of incidents.

Coordinating our operations with the National Parks and Wildlife service and Coillte has been very effective. The Coillte helicopter has proved invaluable in many areas.

Gardai in Wicklow have increased their activities in areas of high fire risk and have closed roads where smoke made conditions too dangerous.

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Civil Defence volunteers and Fire Service Officers are patrolling areas at risk feeding back information and identifying remote fires promptly. Civil Defence will deploy drones this weekend to provide an invaluable overview of difficult locations.

As is always the case when emergency services may be stretched, the Defence Forces are available to respond if required.

Wicklow County Fire Service would like to express gratitude to the public for their support and offers of assistance.

The General Public are advised not to light fires and to use BBQs in designated areas only while the current weather conditions remain in place.

Chief Fire Officer, Aidan Dempsey, said: “I would like to thank the fire-fighters for their efforts during this period and I’m asking the public to be extra vigilant with all possible sources of ignition, eg discarded cigarette butts, disposable BBQs and to report any illegal or suspicious activity in relation to fires to An Garda Siochána.”

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