gougane barra

'It was scary last night. You could hear animals in the valley': Gorse fire in Cork brought under control

Firefighters have been working through the night to keep the fire under control.

Updated at 3.45pm

A GORSE FIRE in a remote valley in Cork has been brought under control after fire crews tackled the blaze through the night.

The fire started in a section of the Gougane Barra valley two days ago.

In a statement released this afternoon, Cork County Council said that fire crews from Bantry, Macroom, Dunmanway and Skibereen attended the blaze last night.

The crews were supported by a control unit from Ballincollig and a water tanker from Bantry.

The council said that they attended the blaze from about 12.45 am last night until late this morning, when the fire was brought under control.

Speaking this morning to Patricia Messinger on C103’s Cork Today Show, Neil Lucey of the local Gougane Barra Hotel said that locals were very worried about the fire spreading.

“Landowners themselves… were shocked at what had happened,” he said.

Lucey said that the fire was first noticed by locals late on Saturday evening in the Bailick area of the valley.

He said the fire services were contacted on Saturday, but due to the remote location of the fire, it was decided that they wouldn’t call out a crew to address it immediately.

The fire spread over the course of the night and into yesterday. Locals became worried as it spread closer to houses.

“It became a big, big issue then because a huge glow this line of fire appeared on the ridge of the mountain,” said Lucey.

That’s when things kind of got scary.

“You could hear animals in the valley”

Lucey said that the fire services and locals had done a good job in tackling the blaze, but that it was “scary” as the fire spread.

“You could just hear animals in the valley. Sheep, lambs in the valley as well,” he said.

Lucey said it was possible to hear the animals screaming as the fire spread.

“We have no idea what damage is there… We know there’s thousands of acres burned at this stage,” he said.

Nobody was injured in the fire. Cork County Council said that fire crews also attended a number of other similar fires in the west Cork area over the weekend.

With reporting from Cormac Fitzgerald

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