Irish Air Corps called in to assist with NI gorse blaze

Members of the Irish Air Corps were called in to assist Northern Irish firefighters battle a serious gorse fire in Co. Armagh earlier today (Tuesday, July 10).

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 is 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.

“Great example of the Defence forces working with their counterparts in the North to protect communities.”

A video of the Air Corps in action was also shared via social media, which also depicts the smoke billowing from the hills.

This is the latest in a series of infernos to sear through the countryside in the current drought, with similar blazes in Meath, Wicklow and on the Laois/Offaly border.

Image source: NIFRS Twitter page