GALLERY: Over 40 brave firefighters battle gorse fires for thirteen hours on Mount Leinster

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Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

news@carlowlive.ie

Over 40 brave firefighters have battled gorse fires on Mount Leinster in Carlow over the last 24 hours. 

Pictured above are photographs, including some aerial images, from Carlow Civil Defence's drone of one of the numerous fires Carlow Fire and Rescue Service dealt with on Mount Leinster.

At its peak, over 40 firefighters from Bagenalstown, Tullow, Graiguenamanagh and Bunclody Fire Brigades were battling fires on both the Carlow and Wexford sides of the mountain.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Carlow Civil Defence and An Garda Síochana were also involved in assisting with extinguishing the fires.

Carlow Fire Services said: "The aerial drone is an invaluable tool in developing a strategy for extinguishing such a large area on fire, it also helps in identifying any forestry that may be at risk as well as recognising any hazards that may be obscured by smoke.

"In total, it took in excess of 13 hours to extinguish the fire that is pictured, it was particularly disheartening for us to learn that following hours of exhausting work and the successful extinguishment of this fire that individuals intentionally ignited standing forestry in a separate area of the Corrabut Gap as well as igniting an extensive fire in the Knockroe/Rathgeran area."

They said: "It should be noted that the vast majority of the farming community in the area condemn the lighting of these fires, Carlow Fire Service has been working closely with the local farming community over the past number of months through the Blackstairs Farming Group to raise awareness of the damaging nature of these fires.

"It is a very small minority of individuals who choose to behave in this manner and intentionally light fires on the Blackstairs mountains.

"Crews from Bagenalstown and Bunclody Fire Brigades have returned to the mountain [Friday] morning to extinguish the last remnants of these fires, as a status Orange Wildfire Warning is in place, we again appeal to members of the community not to light any outdoor fires."

They added: "We also appeal to the wider public to continue to obey Government guidance regarding social distancing and not to drive to the mountains to observe or photograph these fires.

"As well as increasing the risk of spreading COVID-19, it is also preventing our vehicles from travelling quickly between fires."