1. ITV Report

Fire crews tackle ‘large wildfire’ on Mourne Mountains

Firefighters fight a massive blaze on the hills near the Tollymore forest. Credit: Credit: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

Hundreds of people have been evacuated while emergency services tackle a large fire on the Mourne Mountains.

The blaze broke out at Tollymore Forest in Newcastle on Sunday night.

More than 50 fire fighters and 8 appliances attended the scene.

A nearby caravan park was immediately evacuated and a local council run centre opened for emergency shelter.

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Emergency services at the scene of a fire in Newcastle County Down. Credit: Credit: Steven McAuley/McAuley Multimedia

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The PSNI issued advice for the public to avoid the Tullybrannigan Road.

Fire fighters worked throughout the night to bring the blaze under control and protecting properties that could be at risk.

Conditions were described as 'punishing and challenging'.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Fire and Rescue Service said: “Crews are currently dealing with a wildfire with a mile long fire front. Their main priority at this time is protecting the properties in the vicinity of the fire.

Operations will continue through the night and into Easter Monday.”

On Monday morning, Group Commander Eddie Carroll, confirmed the incident had been brought under control.

Residents were allowed back to their properties in the early hours and a small number of crews remain at the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.