Portadown fire: NIFRS battle large blaze

Video: Armagh i

Firefighters are dealing with a large fire on the outskirts of Portadown, Co Armagh.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the fire involving a large number of hay bales on the Blackisland Road, Annaghmore, was reported at about 10pm on Saturday.

Some 55 firefighters and six pumping appliances were deployed and crews worked through the night and into the early hours of Sunday.

Four pumping appliances remained at the scene at 7am on Sunday.

NIFRS group commander Paul Gould told the PA news agency that it remained an "ongoing incident" as of 11am on Sunday.

He said: "We have scaled down our resources but we are still involved in extinguishing the fire and dealing with the incident. The fire involved a large quantity of hay and this is still ongoing.

"We ask members of the public to stay away from the area as we try to resolve it."

It is believed there were about 1,500 hay bales on the site.

Mr Gould added: "The embers coming from the fire creating the risk of the fire spreading quite dramatically, so that's why we had a large amount of resources. We remained on site overnight and are still on site dealing with it."

It is not yet known what caused the fire.

Mr Gould said: "We're still trying to resolve the incident and extinguish the fire. Once that is completed we'll try to establish what the cause of the fire was."

Trafficwatch NI said the road remains closed and road users are advised to find an alternative route.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.