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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

'A Holy mess': Pleas for more support as Donegal locals help battle another gorse fire

Donegal Fire Service and gardaí are at the scene.

Today's fire in Loughanure.
Today's fire in Loughanure.
Image: Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig

MORE GORSE FIRES are burning in west Donegal, damaging property and bringing local volunteers out in support of firefighters.

The latest fire is located at Loughanure with Donegal Fire Service, gardaí and local volunteers at the scene.

The fire has led to the closure of the N56 between Dungloe and Gweedore and local bus services have also been affected. 

Local councillor Micheal Cholm Mac Giolla Easbuig is one the volunteers assisting with the efforts and says today’s fire has seen the destruction of property. 

“There are about 100-200 people on site spread over a huge area. We’ve lost a vast amount of property,” he told TheJournal.ie.

It’s time to call a major emergency and get all available personnel out here to save our homes and our families and our community, there’s a Holy mess here. 

Mac Giolla Easbuig said volunteers are currently heading to get more equipment to help battle the blaze and again repeated the situation was an emergency. 

We’ve just come up here now to get shovels to try to get a bit of a breather here and go back in and get as much materials that’s needed. There’s people coming from everywhere and I’d like to praise all the volunteers, I’d like to praise all the fire services that are on site. But we need more help and Donegal County Council I believe need to call this a major emergency.

Today’s fire comes following a similar Donegal blaze in Annagry which saw at least one house damaged.

Firefighters have also been battling gorse fires in the Mourne mountains in Co. Down and Co. Clare.

(Click here if video doesn’t play)

In Clare, fire crews from two stations were last night battling to bring a large mountain fire under control.

Firefighters from Scarriff station fought several bog and forestry fires on Saturday and Sunday and were joined by colleagues from Killaloe station.

Several fires were reported close to forestry at Flagmount on Saturday while a helicopter was also used to tackle the blazes which threatened forestry and a log cabin in one area.

Further outbreaks occurred in the same area again yesterday resulting in fire crews being mobilised again to deal with the blazes.

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It’s understood that fires at Flagmount may have been started deliberately and gardaí are investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, after dealing with the fires at Flagmount yesterday for a second day, fire crews were alerted last night to a large fire on a mountain at Woodfield in east Clare, a short distance from Mountshannon close to the Galway border.

Firefighters from Scarriff and Killaloe responded to the area which was difficult to access.

Fire personnel had to make their way across difficult terrain in the dark to reach the fires and spent several hours dealing with them while also contending with windy conditions.

There was no immediate indication of how this fire began.

- With reporting by Pat Flynn

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Rónán Duffy

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