Desperate bid to halt spread of huge gorse blaze
FIRE crews have been battling a large gorse fire for over 24 hours in a desperate attempt to stop it spreading to nearby forests.
Two crews were called out to tackle the blaze, which broke out between Loughrea and Derrybrien in Co Galway on Saturday night.
Up to 12 fire crew fought the blaze until the early hours of yesterday morning before returning at 9am yesterday. They fought the blaze throughout the day before getting it under control.
Neil McGee, station officer at Loughrea, said they would remain at the scene until nightfall. "All we're trying to do now is stop it from spreading to the forestry. It's under control now but we'll remain here and keep it from spreading," he said.
Crews were hampered in their attempts to quell the fire by the dry conditions and the wind, he added.
Fire crews estimated that up to 1,200 acres had been destroyed in the fire.
It is not clear if the fire was started deliberately. Fire crews across Galway have been fighting gorse fires throughout the week.
Fire and rescue services issued a warning to landowners. They warned farmers and landowners that it was illegal to burn on open ground for the control of vegetation between now and September. Those in breach may risk prosecution or other penalties.