Firefighters tackle large gorse and forest fire in County Clare

Firefighters tackle gorse and forestry fire at Coore East, Co Clare. Image Clare County Fire & Rescue Service Facebook
Dozens of firefighters from four different stations were last night (Wednesday) battling to save homes and forestry threatened by one of the largest gorse fires in Co Clare for several years,  Pat Flynn reports for The Meteo Times.

Fire crews managed to prevent one home from being engulfed in flames and battled to save others after the massive fire swept through hundreds of acres of scrubland.

Fires were reported along both sides of a 6 kilometre stretch of the Ennis to Miltown Malbay R474 road between The Hand and Coore East. GardaĆ­ eventually had to close the roads as poor visibility hampered motorists.

One farmer's shed was engulfed in flames however fire crews and locals battled to prevent the blaze spreading to any other buildings. Several gas cylinders in the shed that was destroyed exploded intermittently during the incident. Other farmers had to move vehicles from their property in case they were caught in the fires.
Later the fires spread into forestry forcing fire crews to redeploy to the affected areas.

Fire crews from Ennistymon initially responded to the incident but quickly requested additional assistance from Ennis station. Before long, further crews and appliances were sought from as far away as Shannon and Kilrush.

11 fire appliances and 3 other fire service vehicles were involved in fighting the blazes.

While all resources from Ennis station were tied up with the fires, crews from Gort in Co Galway and Shannon in Clare had to respond to a road traffic accident on the outskirts of Ennis.

By 6.30pm, the county's fire service was stretched to capacity with all seven stations dealing with incidents at the same time.

A crew from Scarriff had to be mobilised to Ennis to provide emergency cover for the town while personnel at Kilkee fire station were placed on standby at their base to respond to the Kilrush area if needed.

At around 6.00pm, as fire crews battled to keep the fire south of the R474 road, locals began arriving to lend assistance.

The fires came just a day after Clare County Fire and Rescue Service issue a warning to the public about the dangers posed by illegal burning and forest, bog and gorse fires.

The warning followed the recent fires in Co Galway and was issued two years on from Ireland’s worst ever wildfires in April and May 2011 when thousands of hectares of land were destroyed across much of the country, including County Clare.

The cause of last nights fires was not immediately known but locals believe the dry conditions and temperatures of up to 14 degrees yesterday were likely to have been a factor.

Image Clare County Fire & Rescue Service Facebook
Image Clare County Fire & Rescue Service Facebook
Image Clare County Fire & Rescue Service Facebook
Image Clare County Fire & Rescue Service Facebook

Meanwhile, firefighters from Wicklow County Fire and Rescue Service last night attended a large blaze on Little Sugarloaf Mountain. A gorse fire broke our near Kilmacanogue yesterday evening.

Gorse Fire at Little Sugar loaf Mountain near Kilmacanogue, Wicklow last night. Image Eimhear Collins

Fire on top of the Ballycuggeran Woods, Killaloe, last night. Image Judy Devine
And in East Clare last night, firefighters also were tackling at fire at Ballycuggeran Woods, near Killaloe.