Belfast Telegraph

Huge gorse blaze at Greenisland monument

By Stewart Robson

A gorse fire tore across a hillside near Greenisland on Sunday evening.

Three fire engines were called to the area of the Knockagh Monument, with the area inaccessible to firefighters at first because of the hazardous location.

Most of the fire was eventually put out but a small area remained under threat. Emergency services continued to monitor the situation as smoke billowed from the hillside into yesterday evening.

Greenisland resident Iris McGookin, who lives nearby, had alerted emergency services.

"I got up to open a window during the night because I was too hot and turned to my left to see all of the flames," she said.

"I couldn't sleep after it, thinking about the animals that live on the hill. I kept looking out but it didn't seem to be easing at all."

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said there was no risk to property or life.

Group Commander and NIFRS lead officer for Wildfires Mark Smyth said: "Tackling gorse and wildland fires is extremely challenging for us. It means deploying firefighters and equipment to remote locations. This can be for a prolonged period of time with our crews working under hazardous and intense heat to bring the fires under control."

Belfast Telegraph

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