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Dublin: 17 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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Curracloe beach evacuated as firefighters tackle large-scale sand dune blaze

The fire has been brought under control this evening.

Updated Jul 22nd 2018, 7:15 PM

Curracloe beach Source: The Surf Shack Curracloe

SEVERAL FIRE UNITS, accompanied by gardaí, responded to a large-scale blaze in the sand dunes of Curracloe beach in Co Wexford this afternoon.

Smoke could be seen across the area, and the beach was evacuated as emergency services battled the blaze.

An Air Corps AW139 helicopter was later dispatched to assist in the fire-fighting effort.

The fire had been brought under control by this evening.

A Leinster Open Sea race was taking place at the time. Speaking to TheJournal.ie, organiser Eoin Gaffney said the ladies’ race was under way when an announcement was made ordering people off the beach.

Competitors and supporters made their way to the car park in an orderly manner and headed away, Gaffney said.

“There was a lot of smoke being blown up towards the area of the car park – it looked very dense.”

There were hundreds of people on the beach at the time.

A staff member at the Surf Shack Curracloe told TheJournal.ie that the flames at their highest point were 10 feet high.

The recent hot dry weather has led to dry ground and vegetation across the country.

Fire services have been warning members of the public to be careful when using disposable barbeques and not to throw cigarette butts on the ground.

The Department of Agriculture recently revised its fire danger condition down from red to orange, but said that the threat from wildfires remained high.

“Arising from preceding drought conditions, a High Fire Risk remains in all areas where hazardous fuels exist,” the department said in its latest alert, issued on Friday.

Fire Risk condition is likely to be moderated on a localised basis by scattered light rain, cooler temperatures and higher ambient humidity levels in many areas. However, an increase in fire risk values is very likely as the weekend progresses.

37635863_2127004314007777_7380054249020850176_n Source: The Surf Shack Curracloe

37607858_2127021230672752_4295128885554577408_n Source: The Surf Shack Curracloe

37609875_2127021810672694_710935160433934336_n Source: The Surf Shack Curracloe

A number of gorse and heather fires have broken out across the country in recent weeks – including one on Bray Head, which brought Dart services between Bray and Greystones to a halt and took days to bring under control.

- With reporting by Daragh Brophy 

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