Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service is currently responding to a number of wildfires across Northern Ireland.
A spokesperson said “NIFRS received a call this afternoon at 12.15pm to a grassland fire on Blackrock Road, Cookstown. There are currently 9 Fire Appliances with approximately 41 Firefighters and 6 Officers at the scene.
“We also received a call to a grassland fire on Carnmoney Hill, Glengormley at 12.38pm. There are currently 4 Fire Appliances with approximately 21 Firefighters and 3 Officers at the scene.
“We are still in attendance at a grassland fire on Flagstaff Road, Newry. NIFRS were called to this incident at 00.29am on Monday 1 June 2020. There are currently 4 Fire Appliances and a HVP specialist appliance, with approximately 29 Firefighters and 1 Officer still at the scene.
“NIFRS responded to 114 gorse and wildfire incidents across Northern Ireland on Monday 1 June and Tuesday 2 June 2020. NIFRS attended just 7 gorse and wildfire incidents during the same two days in 2019. This has been an exceptionally busy Spring period for fire crews who have worked hard in tough conditions to extinguish these wildfires.
“Due to the recent hot weather, grass and gorse is extremely dry and NIFRS would appeal to members of the public not to light any fires or use disposable barbecues in the countryside as these can lead to significant wildfire incidents and damage to the countryside.”
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Councillor Independent William McCandless said ;
“It has been absolutely amazing to see residents in our local areas come out on Thursday evenings to show their appreciation for the NHS and rightly so.
“In light of a recent break out of fire again on the Altnarichard Rd earlier this week and other instances over the past few days I have been thinking of the tremendous pressure that has been placed on another of our “ blue light services “ the NIFRS and how much we are indebted to them also over the past months.
“What they are called upon to do is also very diverse and can range from tackling the flooding caused by storm Ciara in Counties Fermanagh and Tyrone in February to the gorse fires we have been experiencing in our area since April.
“The fire crews have been extremely busy with what appears to have been an exceptionally busy Spring period for wildfire blazes. In April we witnessed the gorse fire at Slieveanorra and the damage to the area near Armoy.
“The hot and dry weather has left the countryside vulnerable to fires and if anyone had been caught in the line of these fires it would have been fatal.
“We can assist the NIFRS by paying heed to the advice they have given :- avoid lighting small fires, avoid disposable BBQ’s they can lead to major conflagrations if not properly extinguished, litter containing glass which can be magnified on sunny days like these, even a carelessly discarded lit cigarette.
“Anyone deliberately causing a fire in these tinder dry conditions is nothing short of countryside vandalism.”