Fire crews withdrawn from dangerous fires

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Firefighters tackling a recent blaze on Ben Dash between Kilmaley and Darragh – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

Fire crews were forced to withdraw from several gorse and forestry fires in recent days amid safety fears.

Fire fighters from the Co Clare’s seven stations have been spent thousands of man-hours tackling forestry, bog, mountain and gorse fires in recent weeks.

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On Wednesday, fire crews dealt with blazes across the county, some of which were deemed to dangerous to tackle.

Crews fought fires in the Ennis, Ennistymon, Miltown Malbay, Lisdoonvarna and Connolly areas of north and west Clare. In east Clare, stations battled fires in areas of Whitegate, Bodyke, Kilbane, Mountshannon and Woodcock Hill near Shannon.

Fire crews from Killaloe station spent almost 10 hours trying to control a massive fire in the Kilbane/Bridgetown area.

After dealing with a succession of fires in the Cregg, Whitegate and Mountshannon areas, fire fighters from Scarriff joined their colleagues from Killaloe to tackle the blaze they were battling.

At 2.30am yesterday (Thursday), Shannon fire service responded to a mountain fire at Woodcock Hill on the Clare/Limerick border. The blaze had been reported by someone who spotted it 10 kilometres away in Limerick City.

Also in the early hours of yesterday (Thursday) morning, units of the fire brigade from Ennistymon were mobilised to tackle a gorse fire in the vicinity of the Cliffs of Moher.

Photo: © Pat Flynn, 2015
Fire crews have been withdrawn from fires on safety grounds – Photo: © Pat Flynn, 2015

On arrival, they discovered a raging gorse fire on lands close to the cliffs. The officer in charge deemed the incident too dangerous for fire crews to tackle and personnel were pulled out on safety grounds.

A spokesman for Clare County Fire and Rescue service said: “Following a dynamic risk assessment it was determined that it was unsafe for the Brigade to tackle this incident. The fire was in an isolated area, and was not threatening property or livestock.”

“Attendance at a number of these incidents restricted the health and safety of crews, in particular the incident near the Cliffs of Moher,” the spokesman added.

Fire crews from various parts of Clare continued to tackle fires yesterday (Thursday).

Earlier this month, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service warned landowners to stop breaking the law and desist from burning activities.

The call followed a series of fires including one that raged for over 10 hours and believed to have been caused by illegal burning.

On April 9th, firefighters from Ennis, Kilrush and Ennistymon responded to one of the largest wildfires of the year to date when two square kilometres of bog and gorse were destroyed on Ben Dash, located between Lissycasey and Kilmaley.

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