Pics: Over 30 firefighters battle gorse fire blaze in Co. Cork

Over 30 firefighters battled a gorse fire blaze in the Gougane Barra area, near Macroom in west Co. Cork last night, the Cork County Fire Service has confirmed.

Firefighters from Bantry, Macroom, Dunmanway, Skibbereen along with the Incident Control Unit from Ballincollig attended the large gorse fire.

A house, shed and a large area of forestry were protected from the advancing fire; it is estimated that the fire covered a distance of over 4km.

The cause of the fire is as yet unknown, but it is believed that close to 350ac of farmland have been affected by the outbreak.

Firefighters are believed to have worked throughout the night to contain the blaze, which is still burning this morning.

The fire service in Co. Cork has been busy over the last number of weeks dealing with gorse fires across the county.

On Sunday, April 23, fire crews from Bantry and Castletownbere dealt with a gorse fire which came very close to a number of houses in the Glengarriff area; just over 30km from the Gouganne Barra area.

Fire risk

A Condition Orange – High Fire Risk warning has been issued by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The warning is set to remain in place until tomorrow, April 25. The warning was issued on account of the current extended period of high pressure, the Department added.

Risk levels are forecast to peak today; with southern coastal areas set to be worst affected.

The overall risk is expected to recede tomorrow – Tuesday, April 25. The Department hopes the onset of colder northerly weather patterns will bring some rainfall.

Advice to forest owners and managers

All forest owners and managers have been advised to prepare for the likely outbreaks of fire. The Department has asked that owners and managers carry out a review of their fire lines, fire plans and fire suppression equipment.

The need for increased vigilance at this time cannot be overstated, according to the Department. Forest owners, farmers, rural dwellers and other countryside users are asked to be extremely vigilant regarding fire activity.

Any suspicious or illegal activity should be reported to the Gardai as well as the Fire and Emergency Services.

More advice on how to deal with the possibility of fires for forest owners and managers is available on the Department’s website.