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Deliberate fire in Wicklow Mountains' 'Coronation Plantation' sparks probe

The Coronation plantation dates back to 1831 and was one of the first attempts at commercial forestry in Ireland.

Image: The National Parks & Wildlife Service

AN INVESTIGATION HAS been launched into a deliberate fire that spread to a historic forest in the Wicklow Mountains National Park.

The fire was apparently started in some vegetation before spreading to the Coronation Plantation on Tuesday evening.

Firefighters from Wicklow Fire Service and national park staff spent several hours battling the blaze before it was eventually extinguished in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The National Parks & Wildlife Service is now probing the circumstances surrounding the fire. Burning vegetation is illegal between 1 March and 31 August and also requires notification where it will be within one mile of a state forest.

The Coronation plantation, which dates back to 1831, was one of the first attempts at commercial forestry in Ireland. Its name commemorates the coronation of William IV of England.

IMG-20190516-WA0001 Source: The National Parks & Wildlife Service

The National Parks & Wildlife Service say it is an unusual woodland of high conservation value, akin to the “Caledonian Forests” of Scotland, and a beautiful landscape feature in a remote area of the north of the National Park.

The service is appealing to anyone who has knowledge of the fire to contact them on 076-1002667 or contact their local Garda Station. It also paid tribute to Wicklow Fire Service for their assistance in extinguishing the blaze.

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Ceimin Burke

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