Over 40 fires tackled by Wicklow Fire Services since Wednesday

Wicklow County Fire Service has been busy battling fires around the county over the last two days, with 42 different instances being handled by firefighters.

These incidents reached their peak on Thursday afternoon with up to 70 firefighters involved in operations at various locations throughout Wicklow.

The most serious incidents were  located on the Military Road near the Sally Gap; at Rocky Valley in Kilmacanouge, and at Windgates in Greystones.

Wicklow’s crews have been working tirelessly on the ground while maintaining the capability to respond other serious incidents at short notice.

Due to the current rate of wild land fires across the county, Fire Services has been working closely with a number of agencies who have helped ease the burden on firefighters at critical times.

The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government coordinates daily and processes requests for Air Corps assistance nationally, who have given support via Air Corps helicopters at a number of incidents.

Crews have also coordinated operations with the National Parks and Wildlife service, with a helicopter provided by Coillte proving invaluable in many areas.

Gardaí in Wicklow have increased their activities in areas of high fire risk and have closed roads where smoke made conditions too dangerous.

Civil Defence volunteers and Fire Service Officers are patrolling areas at risk feeding back information and identifying remote fires promptly; Civil Defence will deploy drones this weekend to provide an overview of difficult locations.

As is always the case when emergency services may be stretched, the Defence Forces are available to respond if required.

Wicklow County Fire Service would like to express gratitude to the public for their support and offers of assistance.

Chief Fire Officer Aidan Dempsey has advised the public to not light fires and to use BBQs in designated areas only while the current weather conditions remain in place.

Officer Dempsey also said: “I would like to thank the fire-fighters for their efforts during this period and I’m asking the public to be extra vigilant with all possible sources of ignition, e.g. discarded cigarette butts, disposable BBQs and to report any illegal or suspicious activity in relation to fires to An Garda Siochána.”

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