An Irish Air Corps helicopter has been assisting fire crews as they continued to deal with a large scrub fire in the Burren National Park in Co Clare.
Firefighters from Ennistymon have been battling the blaze near Carran since around midday today. The area is inaccessible by vehicles so fire service personnel had to make their way to the fire on foot across difficult terrain.
As the fire spread over a significant area it was decided that assistance tackling the blaze would be required so the Irish Air Corps was requested to provide a helicopter.
An AgustaWestland 139 helicopter was dispatched to the area from Baldonnell aerodrome in west Dublin. The helicopter crew made several trips to Lake Inchiquin near Corofin where they refilled the aircraft’s Bambi bucket before dropping the water on the fire.
The helicopter crew later landed at Shannon Airport to refuel and has since returned to Baldonnell. Fire crews are expected to remain at the scene for some time.
Meanwhile, in Co Galway, fire crews from three counties have been fighting a significant blaze that has affected forestry and bogland and closed a main road.
Fire crews from Gort, Ballinasloe, Loughrea and Portumna in Galway as well as units of the fire brigade from Scarriff Co Clare and Borrisokane in Tipperary have been fighting the fire at Ballyshrule for most of the day.
The fire has affected both state and private forestry as well as a significant area of bogland. It’s understood that one barn has already been destroyed by the fire.
A section of the Woodford to Portumna R352 road has been closed as a result. AA Roadwatch says: “Extreme care is advised as smoke is affecting visibility. Diversions are in place via Woodford and Abbey.”