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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Irish Air Corps called to help fight wildfire in Armagh

The fire is just two miles from the border.

An Air Corps helicopter picking up water to help with firefighting last week.
An Air Corps helicopter picking up water to help with firefighting last week.
Image: Defences Forces

THE IRISH AIR Corps has been called in to help fight a gorse fire in Armagh.

The fire is burning on Slieve Gullion, just two miles across the Irish border, with an Air Corps helicopter being sent to assist.

It is covering around 100 acres and is burning close to a designated area of special specific interest.

Minister with responsibility for Defence Paul Kehoe has confirmed that approval was given for Air Corps involvement following a request from the Northern Ireland Fire Service.

The approval was granted following contact between the Defence Forces, the Department of Defence, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

DFAT officials have liaised with the British authorities to ensure all necessary permissions are in place for the Air Corps to cross the border.

Minister Kehoe said the Air Corps remains is on standby to respond to requests for assistance with fires caused by the hot weather.

“This deployment is the latest example of how our Defence Forces and Air Corps are assisting other agencies to ensure communities are kept safe.”

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service says that four appliances, specialist wildlife resources and all-terrain vehicles are at the scene.

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