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Gardaí probe Wexford fire after reports that barbecue caused huge beach blaze

People were forced to leave the popular tourist area yesterday.

GARDAÍ ARE INVESTIGATING a fire which started at a popular tourist beach after flames engulfed sand dunes there yesterday.

Several fire units accompanied by gardaí, responded to a large-scale blaze at Curracloe beach in Wexford yesterday.

Gardaí are now investigating after it emerged that the fire may have been started by a barbecue.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe visited the beach yesterday in the aftermath of the fire.

He met members of the emergency services and Air Corps, which were tasked with putting out the blaze.

An AW139 helicopter left Baldonnel just before 7pm after its assistance was requested.
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Kehoe said: “I would like to commend members of the Wexford Fire Brigade, especially its chief Fire Officer Paul L’Estrange, members of An Garda Síochána , the ambulance service and of course the Air Corps for their efforts in bringing this situation under control.”

“There have been many serious fires related to the hot spell and this is the latest example. I want to commend all the agencies for their efforts.

“I visited the scene myself to see first hand the impact. Public safety is the number one priority and all personnel acted quickly and appropriately.”

A Leinster Open Sea race was taking place at the beach at the time. Speaking to yesterday, 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.

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