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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Crone Woods

Wicklow Fire Service battling forest fire since early hours at popular hiking spot

The Air Corps have been called to the scene too.

LAST UPDATE | Jul 19th 2022, 1:30 PM

THE WICKLOW FIRE Service is fighting a forest fire at Crone Woods in the north of the county, a spot frequented regularly by walkers and hikers.

A crew from Bray first responded to the fire at 1am in the early hours of this morning.

Due to the scale of the fire, crews from Greystones and Baltinglass were later mobilised to further support the response, according to Chief Fire Officer Aidan Dempsey.

Coillte, the state agency that owns the forest, also has staff on site.

Dempsey said that the Air Corps are expected at the scene shortly to provide aerial firefighting support, while Coillte has mobilised a private helicopter operator from Galway that has been temporarily delayed due to fog.

Crone Woods is a popular Coillte forest in north Co Wicklow near the Powerscourt House and Gardens.

It’s a starting point for hiking trails in the Wicklow mountains, including the Maulin Mountain Loop and several with views of the Powerscourt Waterfall as well as an access point to the Wicklow Way.


In a statement Coillte said that it is too early to determine what caused the fire. 

“Coillte and fire service personnel are currently working to bring a significant forest fire under control at Crone Woods County Wicklow. The fire is affecting areas of forested lands and also the Wicklow Mountains National Park. An Air Corps helicopter is in attendance to assist in the efforts.

It is too early to determine the source of ignition of this fire. There is a National Status Orange Forest Fire Warning in place and Coillte is asking the public to avoid the use of all outdoor fires and other open ignition sources such as barbeques and cigarettes at this time,” the statement said. 

Coillte asked the public using the recreational areas to cooperate with fire safety measures including in parking vehicles so as not to impede access by emergency vehicles.

“Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forest sector. They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk in their efforts to extinguish them.

“They cause ecological and environmental damage to wildlife and to protected habitats and species that can take years to recover from,” the statement added.

Yesterday, Ireland experienced its hottest temperature in 135 years – 33 degrees Celsius at 3pm in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

That’s second only to the record of 33.3 measured at Kilkenny Castle in June 1887.

Scorching temperatures have swept across Europe in recent days, bringing with them an increased risk of forest fires that can devastate landscapes and harm animals and people.

Firefighters in France, Portugal, Spain and Greece have battled forest fires that have destroyed thousands of hectares and killed several personnel since the start of the week. 

Although hot weather at this time of year is not surprising, its intensity – seen in the UK’s forecast of 40-degree highs, for instance – is in line with warnings from experts that climate change is amplifying extreme weather events.

The climate crisis, which is unsettling weather patterns, increases the likelihood of extreme weather events like heatwaves, scientists have found.

 As well as influencing their occurrence in the first place, it can make those events longer, more frequent, and more intense with the potential to harm people, animals and the environment.

Met Éireann warned that climate change increased the chance of temperature records being broken.

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