SPECTACULAR GORSE FIRE THREATENS FORESTRY
A spectacular gorse fire in the area of Coombaun Wood in the foothills of the Galtee Mountains near Anglesboro could this week have threatened hundreds of acres of mature forestry but for the action of local fire brigades.
The gorse fire, which, fanned by a brisk wind, spread quickly over a distance of two to three miles, was first reported to Mitchelstown Fire Brigade shortly before 9pm on Monday night. They rushed to the scene but, hampered by the inaccessible nature of the location, were forced to hike up a steep climb towards the area of the fire which could be seen for many miles by residents of the surrounding countryside.
The fire, the cause of which is unknown, seemed to be centred in three different locations. Neighbouring farmers who had gathered to view the spectacular sight watched on as fire fighting personnel endeavoured to bring the blaze under control.
Sean Walsh, sub officer with the Mitchelstown Fire Brigade, told The Avondhu, “There was a fair wind blowing and the fire took hold quickly. It was moving towards the forestry and the situation could have been quite serious if left unattended.”
The sub officer confirmed that fire fighting personnel from the Fermoy brigade were also called to the scene in an attempt to bring the blaze under control. The Mitchelstown and Fermoy brigades worked to together to successfully douse the fire and personnel were at the scene for over four hours, from 9pm on Monday until 1am on Tuesday morning.
A fire on the previous Friday, April 9, did actually infiltrate a forested area at Ballywilliam near Ballyporeen. Here again, Mitchelstown Fire Brigade were called to the scene of the blaze in the Coillte forest.
“We found it difficult initially to gain access through forest roads to the scene of the fire but Coillte staff quickly procured a track machine and cleared the way for the fire appliance to make its way through the forestry,” Sean Walsh told The Avondhu.
It is understood that mounds of earth which had blocked the forest roads were cleared to facilitate Mitchelstown Fire Brigade personnel who succeeded in bringing the fire under control. It is reported that a number of mature trees were destroyed in the Ballywilliam blaze.
Thursday 15th April 6:07pm