Hundreds of fires burn across Northern Ireland


Northern Ireland fire
Northern Ireland fire. UTV

Hundreds of fires have been burning in Northern Ireleand over the last few days. Unseasonably dry weather, very strong winds, and a plague of arsonists have contributed to a situation that is unprecedented for that part of the world. A sampling of the reports includes descriptions such as “nine square miles” in the Torridon mountains, one fire that has burned 300 square kilometers (74,000 acres) west of Donegal, and 201 gorse fires on Sunday, and 282 gorse fires on Monday.


Helicopter dropping water in Northern Ireland
Helicopter dropping water on a gorse fire outside Pontoon, Co Mayo on May 2 in Northern Ireland. Eamonn Farrell/Photocall

The reporter below is dressed differently than reporters covering wildfires in the western United States, where they usually wear fire resistant clothing such as Nomex. But he gives a very interesting video report; check it out. Unfortunately, it can’t be embedded here.


Northern Ireland fire reporter
Northern Ireland fire reporter. Belfast Telegraph

Here is another video, the first few minutes of which are very interesting.

Seasoned wildland firefighters will enjoy this, from, a “new” way of fighting fire:

THE “MINIMAL” damage caused by gorse fires to property and forest in parts of the Cooley Peninsula was in part credited to a new way of tackling such fires by the senior assistant chief fire officer in Louth, Joe Lumsden.

The new method saw the fire service working with the Civil Defence and Coillte to create firebreaks. This involved cutting down some trees in advance of any fires to create openings in forest areas, and then soaking those pathways with water.

If a fire hits one of these firebreaks, it cannot continue any further, which both reduces the fire’s trajectory and makes the environment safer for firefighters.

Crews from Louth were trained in the new method by fire crews from the UK.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “Hundreds of fires burn across Northern Ireland”

  1. Ah, shure, and they told us to get a bulldozer but, begorrah, every time we had a fire, it woke up! So what’s the good in that, then?


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