Northern Ireland

Arrest over Cave Hill gorse fire

Local residents were advised to keep their windows closed.  Photo by @markbtuk
Local residents were advised to keep their windows closed.  Photo by @markbtuk

A teenager has been arrested in connection with a gorse fire on Cavehill in north Belfast last night which firefighters spent the night extinguishing.

Police said a young male was arrested in west Belfast today on suspicion of arson.

The fire was reported at around 9.20pm last night and local residents were advised to keep their windows closed. 

The PSNI said “lighting uncontrolled gorse fires is highly irresponsible" and could cause widespread damage to the environment and harm wildlif "as well as threatening homes, farms and the people living in those areas".

“The unpredictability of fire can also mean that those causing them may be putting their own lives at risk as well as the lives of the fire service personnel and other emergency services tasked to deal with them.

Group Commander Paul Gould from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service told the BBC that at first light today, they "tasked two specialist wildfire officers along with a drone to conduct a full assessment of the area".

People are advised to avoid Cave Hill.

Last night, firefighters said there was no risk to life or property.

Last month, there were large gorsefires on the Mourne Mountains and at Cave Hill.