Crews tackle 65 gorse fires in just two weeks

NI Fire and Rescue Service attends another fire in Craigavon
NI Fire and Rescue Service attends another fire in Craigavon

Fire fighters have dealt with almost 65 gorse fires within two weeks, prompting concerns that it was stretching resources.

Fire crews from Portadown and Lurgan have been called out a total of 64 times solely to tackle gorse fires.

A spokesperson for the NI Fire and Rescue Service said from Monday 18 June to 3 July at 16:45 they had responded to sevenincidents involving grassland or gorse in the Portadown Station Area and 57 in Lurgan Station Area:

Arsonists have been blamed for the spike in gorse and grass fires in Craigavon, leaving fire crews working ‘flat out’.

SDLP representative Thomas Larkham said many of the fires, including recent ones at the Brownlow Rescource Centre, had been started deliberately.

The Craigavon man claimed fire crews said they had no sooner finished getting one fire out than they were tasked to another close by.

“I am urging those responsible to stop and think of the consequences of their actions,” he said.

Sinn Féin Cllr Fergal Lennon also called on those lighting grass fires across the Craigavon area to cease immediately.

He said: “A number of grass fires have been lit around Ardowen and Rathmore.

“One almost set the Resource Centre beside Brownlow Library on fire.

“Those responsible should cease immediately before lives are lost and property is destroyed.”