Deprecated: Function session_register() is deprecated in /home/sites/ on line 88 Concerns for public in Mourne Mountain blaze
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Concerns for public in Mourne Mountain blaze

  • 4-30-2011

here are concerns for the safety of people out walking or camping on the Mournes as firefighters attempt to contain a blaze on a mountainside.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said a large section of gorse land is on fire near Annalong in County Down.

Group Commander Kevin Synott said a police helicopter is currently looking for people in the Mourne area.

"It's a very, very difficult task," he added.

"We know for a fact there are a number of cars sitting in car parks near to the area.

"We can't tell for certain if that is people on the mountainside or if it is people who have parked up and gone for a walk somewhere else."

Mr Synott said strong winds are fanning the blaze, which is one of 76 gorse fires the NIFRS has attended since midnight on Saturday.

"What we're saying to people who are enjoying the lovely countryside that we have is to please take care," Mr Synott said.

Kilkeel leisure centre and Annalong community centre were due to open to accommodate anyone moved from their homes in the area.

However, an evacuation plan has been cancelled and the centres will not now open.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2011 BBC

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