Northern Ireland news

Around 30 hectares of moorland and gorse burned in Newry mountain fire

Fire crews tackled the blaze on Sunday

AROUND 30 hectares of moorland and gorse were burned in a fire on a mountain near Newry, which is believed to have been started deliberately.

Large flames and smoke could be seen for miles around McDermott Mountain on Sunday.

Crews from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) were called to the scene shortly before 4pm and tackled the blaze for several hours.

Two appliances from Newry fire station and one from Warrenpoint fire station were involved in the operation.

The NIFRS said the operation was halted in the early evening as darkness fell and a watching brief was held at the scene until yesterday morning.

A NIFRS spokesman said: "Firefighters were called to a large gorse fire on McDermott Mountain.

"Firefighters used wildfire techniques and specialist equipment to extinguish the fire and the incident was dealt with by 10.07am on Monday.

"Approximately 30 hectares of moorland and gorse was burned and the cause of the fire is believed to have been deliberate ignition."

Newry and Armagh MLA Liz Kimmins condemned those involved in starting gorse fires on the mountain range.

She said that not only did those responsible put lives at risk but they are also diverting the vital resources of the emergency services.

"This is a disgrace and those who have started this gorse fire should be ashamed of themselves," she said.

"Not only do these reckless actions put lives at risk but they are also diverting the vital resources of the emergency services at this crucial time.

"We are in a time of uncertainty and crisis. The last thing we need is this type of serious criminal anti social actions.

"It must stop and stop now."

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Northern Ireland news