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Firefighters dealing with ‘85 gorse fires a day’

The scene of the major gorse fire on Slieve Gullion. Credit: NIFRS

Firefighters are still dealing with an average of 85 gorse fires a day, the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service has said.

Crews are still dealing with a 100-acre blaze at Slieve Gullion mountain in Co Armagh, after first being called there on Friday.

Four appliances, specialist wildfire resources and all-terrain vehicles are at the scene, where the fire is now encroaching on an area of special scientific interest.

Although the number of gorse fire incidents has fallen slightly over the past week, we are still dealing with on average 85 gorse fires a day.

– NIFRS

“This is a deep-seated fire and has been challenging due to the difficulty in accessing the seats of fire, the direction and strength of the wind, and the continuing dry weather conditions which have led to recurrent reignition,” a NIFRS spokesperson said.

“We are working alongside the Forest Service and the Mourne Heritage Trust to extinguish the fire and prevent it spreading further into the forest.”

The NIFRS is using drones to help with the operation and has appealed for the public not to fly drones in the area to avoid hampering their efforts.

The Irish Defence Forces are also assisting with the fire-fighting operation.

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