Tuesday 21 November 2017

Fire units continue to battle wild blazes across Sligo Mountains for fifth day

Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Amy Mulvaney

Amy Mulvaney

Fire units are continuing to battle wild blazes across the Sligo Mountains for the fifth day.

The first fire broke out in Sligo on Wednesday, with flames continuing to spread across the mountains over the coming days.

The last remaining fire to be put under control is in the Moy Forest in the Ox Mountains.

Sligo Fire Brigade, staff from Coillte, who own the forestry and some of the open mountain, and a helicopter are currently at the scene battling the blaze.

Director of Operations for Coillte Mark Carlin told Independent.ie that the cause of the fire hasn't yet been confirmed.

"It's hard to understand the cause of the fire, it may have been caused accidentally or it may have been caused deliberately and maliciously," said Mr Carlin.

Mr Carlin warned against lighting fires at this time of year due to the high risk of the blaze spreading.

"No one should be lighting fires at this time of year. March and April are the most dangerous times with high winds and dry weather. This year's conditions are the worst I've seen. Vegetation is still very brown, meaning fires can spread easily."

Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps

If the wind condition remains the same as it currently is, the team hope to have the fire under control within two to three hours.

The Irish Air Corps was deployed on Saturday to assist in bringing the spreading fires under control.

Captain Sean McCarthy told Independent.ie that 37 drops of 1,300 litres of water were carried out, totalling at 48,100 litres.

"We had two men on the ground and four in one helicopter. We used Bambi Buckets to distribute the water, which is a risky exercise as you're dropping a bucket far from the helicopter, and it requires on-going training."

Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps
Image: Irish Air Corps

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