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Wicklow Fire Service Battle Burning Blazes Amid Scorching Conditions

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Gardai in Co. Wicklow have increased their activities in areas of high fire risk and have closed roads where smoke made conditions too dangerous amid the ongoing heatwave.

Wicklow’s County Fire Service has attended 42 gorse, forest and wildland fires over the last two days.

At its peak on Thursday up to seventy fire-fighters were involved in firefighting operations at various locations throughout the county.

The most serious were located on the Military Road near the Sally Gap, at Lough Bray, at Rocky Valley in Kilmacanoge and at Windgates in Greystones.

During the current spate of gorse/wild land fires across they have worked closely with a number of agencies who have eased the burden on firefighters at critical times.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government coordinates daily and processes requests for Air Corps assistance nationally.

Coordinating operations with the National Parks and Wildlife service with the Coillte helicopter has proved invaluable in many areas.

Civil Defence volunteers and Fire Service Officers are patrolling areas at risk feeding back information and identifying remote fires promptly.

Civil Defence will deploy drones this weekend to provide an invaluable overview of difficult locations.

As is always the case when emergency services may be stretched, the Defence Forces are available to respond if required.

Wicklow County Fire Service would like to express gratitude to the public for their support and offers of assistance.

The General Public are advised not to light fires and to use BBQs in designated areas only while the current weather conditions remain in place.

Chief Fire Officer, Aidan Dempsey, said:

“I would like to thank the fire-fighters for their efforts during this period and I’m asking the public to be extra vigilant with all possible sources of ignition, eg discarded cigarette butts, disposable BBQs and to report any illegal or suspicious activity in relation to fires to An Garda Siochána.”