NEWS

Helicopters and army sent to tackle west Donegal gorse fire

Roads closed as locals and firefighters battle blaze

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Helicopters and army sent to tackle west Donegal gorse fire

The fire broke out in Annagry this morning

An Air Corps helicopter and army personnel are being deployed to help fight a large gorse fire in west Donegal.
Donegal County Council has also hired a private helicopter to assist fifteen fire appliances from 12 brigade areas that are fighting the fire which broke out at about 6am in Annagry.
The fire is affecting the Annagry, Belcruit and Loughanure areas.
Firefighters and members of the local community began battling the fire early this morning.
Gardaí have advised motorists to avoid the area. 

Motorists travelling from Dungloe to Letterkenny are advised to take the Doochary road. The coast road in Kincasslagh is currently closed and all traffic going from Dungloe to Gweedore is advised to go via Meenaweel Chapel.
Donegal County Council said there are no reported casualties or damaged properties at this time.
Donegal TD Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher said the Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe confirmed that an Air Corps helicopter has been approved to travel to Annagry and that personnel are also en route.
“I told the minister that I was extremely disappointed that it should have taken so long to respond and I prayed that it was not too late,” he said.
“This is not the time but I will be raising this in the Dáil requesting answers. Why a protocol is not in place whereby choppers are deployed immediately a request is submitted by the local authority?”
Donegal County Council said the notice of high fire risk, condition orange, remains effective for all areas where hazardous fuels such as gorse, heather, dried grasses, and other dead vegetation exist.
The council appealed to landowners and members of the public to exercise caution and to take all necessary measures to prevent the occurrence of wildfires involving material such as gorse, heather and similar.
Landowners and members of the public are urged to be vigilant and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire Service by dialling 999 or 112.
The council is also urging landowners and members of the public not to engage in activities
that could cause wildfires.
Householders or building owners in areas susceptible to wildfire are advised to remove or cut back any vegetation in the immediate vicinity of their house, building or oil tank to prevent wildfires damaging or destroying their property.
Donegal County Council also is reminding landowners and members of the public that under the Wildlife Act 1976 and the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between 1 March 1 31st day of August 31.