Northern Ireland

Strabane: Warning over gorse fires after two-mile blaze

Smoke rising from the fire Image copyright NIFRS
Image caption The fire stretched along a two-mile front

More than 50 firefighters have dealt with a large gorse fire that stretched across two miles in County Tyrone.

Eight fire appliances from counties Tyrone and Londonderry were sent to tackle the blaze at Stroanback in the Dunnyboe area of Strabane on Thursday.

Randy McComb, of the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, said crews "worked tirelessly" against the fire.

Image copyright NIFRS
Image caption Firefighters used beaters to deal with the fire

"Tackling gorse fires undoubtedly puts extra strain on resources, in terms of firefighters and equipment," he added.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but Mr McComb said: "I would appeal to everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour or fires immediately.

"As well as the impact on [fire service] resources, gorse fire causes environmental damage to wildlife and the natural habitat."