Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh's Cuilcagh 'stairway to heaven' boardwalk closed due to fire

By Claire Williamson

The Cuilcagh boardwalk in Fermanagh has been closed while firefighters deal with a heather fire nearby.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service are currently attending a fire at Cuilcagh mountain.

The Cuilcagh Legnabrocky Way, including the popular boardwalk which has been dubbed the 'stairway to heaven', is now closed to the public until further notice.

It's the second fire in the area in 24 hours.

On Sunday night firefighters were called to attend a gorse fire in the area. Due to the difficult terrain and fading light conditions the fire was allowed to burn.

Firefighters were called again on Monday morning at 8.50am. Firefighters are currently making their way on foot to access the incident.

A spate of gorse fires across Northern Ireland has seen firefighters deal with 460 blazes since the start of May.

Read more: Warning as Northern Ireland fire crews battle 240 gorse fires over weekend

Read more: Those who set gorse fires don't care for consequences of their actions... we the public need to help police stop them 

Between 6pm and 11pm on Friday alone there were 160 incidents - around one every two minutes.

On Sunday a Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) spokesperson said around 80% of these have been as a result of deliberate ignition.

Group Commander Brian Stanfield of the NIFRS said that coping with the huge number of deliberately-lit gorse fires was a putting tremendous pressure on Fire Service resources.

He said: "With the dry weather set to continue there is a high risk of further fires this week.

"I would like to appeal to members of the public to be vigilant and take care while out in the countryside in order to prevent further fires."

The scenic boardwalk was a relatively well-kept secret until a few people who visited the location posted their photos on social media from the 666m summit.

Since then, visitor numbers to the picturesque site have risen dramatically, with 1,200 people taking in the view on Easter Monday.

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