Belfast Telegraph

Appeal to public over eruption of gorse fires

By Linda Stewart

Firefighters have battled more than 700 gorse fires here in just 10 days.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service revealed it attended 711 gorse fire-related calls from April 15-26 — representing 42% of all incidents attended.

On Tuesday firefighters fought more than 100 gorse fire blazes, the worst of which broke out in Glenshane Forest, Co Londonderry, where around four square kilometres of gorse went up in flames.

It took 60 firefighters from 11 stations to put out the fire, which is believed to have been ignited deliberately.

Last night assistant chief fire officer Dale Ashford said: “We’re appealing to the public to report these type of incidents.

“A number of them were caused deliberately.”

Because the fires tie up large numbers of personnel they can delay the service’s response time in attending life-threatening emergencies elsewhere, added area commander Brian McClintock.

Belfast Telegraph

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