Air corps targets worst areas as park fire ranges

An Air Corps helicopter assisting in the battle to bring the blaze under control at the Eagle’s Nest in Killarney National Park.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan/

A DEVASTATING wildfire is still burning in Killarney National Park with park rangers joining fire service personnel in desperate attempts to get it under control and prevent further ecological destruction.

Air support from the defence forces has been summoned and helicopters are spraying the area with tonnes of water in an attempt to regain control.

A panoramic shot of the national park showing how far the fire has spread.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the NPWS are asking members of the public to avoid the following several areas of the park until further notice.

They no-go zones include Gortderraree, Derrycunnihy, Gallavally, Cahernaduvm Gearhameen, Doogary, the Eagles Nest and the Five Mile.

The mountains are still ablaze despite the best efforts of the emergency services.
Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

If Anybody travelling on the N71 Killarney-Kenmare road are urged to exercise caution as emergency services vehicles are on site which may lead to some traffic congestion in the Five Mile Bridge area. There may be very reduced visibility in the area due to dense smoke.

Water being dropped from overhead in a desperate attempt to get the fire under control

Minister for Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and Minister of State, Malcolm Noonan, recently issued a statement condemning illegal fires after one devastated a large area of Wicklow, stressing that the fires are devastating and it can take years for damaged areas to recover.

The ministers have thanked the staff of the NPWS and Kerry Fire Service for their tireless work in dealing with this devastating fire.

They said the air support from the defence forces is also very much appreciated.