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Cavehill gorse fire being treated as deliberate by Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service

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Several fires have been raging overnight at six separate areas on the Cavehill north of Belfast Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 28-4-2022

Several fires have been raging overnight at six separate areas on the Cavehill north of Belfast Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 28-4-2022

Photopress Belfast

Several fires have been raging overnight at six separate areas on the Cavehill north of Belfast Alan Lewis - PhotopressBelfast.co.uk 28-4-2022

A gorse fire on Cavehill in Belfast that started on Wednesday evening is being treated as deliberate, according to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS).

The fire has since been brought under control by fire crews who had remained at the scene overnight to monitor the blaze.

Two specialist wildfire officers and a drone assessed the fire yesterday morning and the fire is being treated as deliberate.

On Wednesday, the public was asked to avoid the area and nearby residents to keep their windows closed.

The scenes of the fire led many on social media to react angrily, including local politicians in the area.

Responding to the blaze, Ulster Unionist Party election candidate Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston described it as “depressing”.

“Once again North Belfast watches Cavehill burn. During a season that we often see new life flourish on our hill we're instead witnessing and sadly hearing (close to mum’s back door) the malicious destruction of wildlife and its habitat.”

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The Alliance Party’s Nuala McAllister added: “So worrying to see so many fires recently here. Two fire pumps were out as soon as it was seen, and know they won't stop until it's out with extra support.”

The incident at Cavehill this week is the latest in a series of fires NIFRS have had to tackle across the province in recent months.

Firefighters battled several large gorse fires last month, including at Spelga Dam in Co Down and a number of fires in the Cavehill area.

In a statement, the PSNI said: "Police received a report of a gorse fire within the Upper Cavehill Road area on Wednesday, 27th April shortly after 9.20pm.

"Enquiries are continuing and police would ask anyone with information or footage of this incident to contact them on 101, quoting reference number 1904 of 27/04/22 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”


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