Fire threats sweep the country once more

Gorse fires have been wreaking havoc in Co. Wicklow today, while elsewhere in the country a farm fire which could be seen from a distance broke out in Co. Down.

Wicklow Fire Service has been under pressure throughout the day tackling flames in Bray Head, leading to a number of nearby houses being evacuated according to RTE News.

Attempts by the Irish Air Corps to put out the blaze have been hampered by an interfering drone in the area.

The helicopter wing of the corps issued a tweet on social media saying: “We have just left the scene of a fire at Bray Head due to a drone operating in the area. We can not share airspace with drones. Please report such activity to Gardai.”

The fire also caused damage to cabling along the railway line between Bray and Greystones, which is expected to remain closed for the remainder of the day.

Dromore fire

A farmyard fire also broke out earlier today (Friday, July 13) in Dromore, Co. Down, with black smoke seen billowing from the flames from a distance, according to local reports.

According to local news publication Belfast Live, the fire was caused by tyres igniting on the farm.

Firefighters were reportedly called in at around lunchtime today, with four fire crews brought in before the fire was brought under control.

dromore farm fire
Image source: Belfast Twitter page

Cross-border cooperation tackling fire

Meanwhile, earlier this week on Tuesday, members of the Irish Air Corps were called in to assist Northern Irish firefighters battle a serious gorse fire in Co. Armagh.

Taking to Twitter, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) explained through its Twitter page that: “Due to the deep-seated nature of the gorse fire at Slieve Gullion Mountain NIFRS requested assistance from the Air Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

“They have deployed two Irish Air Corps helicopters – one is involved in aerial firefighting and one is being used as an observation point,” the tweet read.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar posted a tweet, confirming that he had granted approval following a request from the North. He added that the Air Corps was on standby for other requests.

Minister of State with responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe shared snapshots of the helicopters in action.

He said: “The Irish Air Corps are currently en route to Slieve Gullion, two miles across the border, following a request from the Northern Ireland authorities.”

air corps gorse fire blaze
Image source: Paul Kehoe TD Twitter page