A regional emergency response is in operation at Cloosh Valley, Co Galway, as the ongoing fire there spread outside Coillte forestry. Approximately 1,500ha of forestry and 2,000ha of bogland have been destroyed so far.
The fire has three separate fronts, the longest of which stretches an 8km long area. It has not only destroyed vast areas of land but is now threatening homes and local communities.
Ireland’s largest wind farm is currently under construction within the valley. Three units of Galway Fire Service are on site to tackle fire events in close proximity to wind farm infrastructure.
The fire service, army, Air Corps and Coillte are battling to bring the fire under control. It is hoped there will be some respite to the situation later this evening as temperatures are expected to drop.
While the cause of the fire at Cloosh Valley has yet to be definitively established, it is believed that the fire originated from deliberately set gorse fires, which subsequently spread into Coillte-owned forestry, according to a statement from the Irish forest company.
Overall, it is estimated that 20 to 30 fires are ongoing across the country however, Cloosh Valley is by far the most serious. Coillte is urging the public stay away from any areas affected by these fires and to immediately report any uncontrolled or unattended fires to the Fire and Emergency Services.
"A regional emergency response operation is in now in place as Coillte staff, along with the fire service, army and air-corps, battle to bring the fire under control. It is hoped there will be some respite to the situation later this evening as temperatures are expected to drop," a statement from Coillte said on Tuesday.
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