Major forest fire in Galway threatens wind farm

Gorse fires continued to rage in Wicklow, Cork, Cavan and parts of North on Monday

A weekend gorse fire at Gougane Barra valley, Co Cork. Photograph:   Neil Lucey/PA Wire

A weekend gorse fire at Gougane Barra valley, Co Cork. Photograph: Neil Lucey/PA Wire

 

Thousands of acres of woodland, moorland and wildlife in Co Galway are at risk of destruction after a major forest fire escalated out of control on Monday, Coillte has said.

Ireland’s largest wind farm, Galway Wind Park, at Cloosh Valley, near Oughterard, is close to the fire, and also at risk, the State forestry company said. The local fire brigade and the Air Corp were called in to tackle the blaze.

Recent forest fires around Ireland have resulted in hundreds of hectares of commercial forestry, farmland and a small amount of property being destroyed.

Gorse fires continued to rage in Cork, Wicklow, Cavan and parts of Northern Ireland on Monday following a weekend of large blazes.

Two gorse fires broke out shortly before lunch on Monday in the west Cork towns of Skibbereen and Schull.

Dublin Fire Brigade units were called to a fire at Glassamucky mountain off Military Road en route to Glencree in Co Wicklow on Monday morning, while units from Cavan town were called to a blaze at Monesk on the Cavan/Leitrim border.

Gorse fires

Firefighters from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service battled five small gorse fires on Monday morning in Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone, Belcoo and Clogher in Co Fermanagh, Newtownhamilton in Co Armagh and in Coleraine, Co Derry.

With weather forecasters predicting dry conditions to continue for the rest of the week, Coillte has appealed to the public to be extra vigilant towards the dangers of wildfire, and be mindful that responsible behaviour, including acting safely and responsibly in rural environments, can significantly reduce the chance of wildfire starting.

Coillte also ask that people report any suspicious activity regarding the setting of fires to the local Garda Síochána.