‘Deliberate’ fire at Slieve Gullion causes extensive damage

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Monday, April 27th, 2015
Community, News
The Ring of Gullion ANOB project has said that a large wildfire on the Ballard Rd side of Slieve Gullion has done extensive damage to the heath habitat, a habitat of international significance. gullionfire1The fire, which occurred on Tuesday afternoon, was attended by NIFRS and took a number of hours and several staff to put out. The Fire Service is still investigating the fire, but it is thought that it was started deliberately. The Ring of Gullion AONB Officer said, “This fire has put fire fighters lives at risk, destroyed a protected habitat, left wildlife with no homes or a food source and the damage caused risks the economical income coming into the area. “Slieve Gullion Mountain has attracted tourism from across the world. Visitors want to walk the mountain for its beauty and the unspoilt environment – this is now under risk due to this fire,” he added. gullionfire2Contrary to the belief that wildfires are sparked by hot, dry weather, most of them occur in the spring. Winter frost leaves undergrowth too dry, meaning the fires can start easily and spread quickly, causing widespread damage throughout the countryside, as is the case with this fire. The Ring of Gullion AONB is urging members of the public enjoying the countryside to be both vigilant and careful over the coming weeks and to report unattended fires to the NI Fire and Rescue Service. To find out more about wildfire awareness please visit our website www.ringofgullion.org and click on projects.
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