The Irish Air Corps is supporting Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) with its operational response to an extensive gorse fire in Glenariff, County Antrim.
NIFRS declared a major incident yesterday evening and that alert continues to be in place. Today over 80 Firefighters and 14 Appliances continue to battle the blaze which currently has a fire front of 1 kilometre.
Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) Deputy Chief Fire & Rescue Officer Paul Harper said:
“The support of our colleagues from the Irish Air Corps is most welcomed as Firefighters from right across Northern Ireland continue to work in punishing conditions to bring this blaze under control. Deploying water directly onto the fire from the air will greatly enhance our firefighting operations.
“Due to the deep seated nature of the fire and the sheer size and scale, a formal request was made for a specialist aerial resource. Thank you to the Irish Air Corps for their support and to all our partner agencies for their ongoing assistance.
“We have implemented several contingencies to ensure we can maintain a response to all types of emergencies today. We continue to do all we can to support our Firefighters on the front line during this challenging time.
"To maintain our operational response across Northern Ireland we need the support of the community to help avoid further gorse fires during this exceptionally dry period. We expect the gorse fire in Glenariff to continue for another 24 to 48 hours. Please act safely, be responsible and be vigilant when it comes to enjoying the countryside.”