Belfast: Residents told to close windows after 'significant' blaze
May. 31, 2020
Residents in Belfast have been advised to keep their windows and doors closed as firefighters tackle a "significant" grass and gorse fire.
The fire service received a call about a grassland fire within the nature reserve at Belfast Harbour Estate at 15:45 BST on Sunday.
Plumes of smoke were visible over the city on Sunday evening.
The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said about 40 firefighters were tackling the blaze.
Skip Twitter post by @NIFRSOFFICIAL Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service are dealing with an incident in the Duncrue area in Belfast and advise residents in this area to keep their windows and doors shut to stop smoke from entering their houses. — Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (@NIFRSOFFICIAL) May 31, 2020 Report End of Twitter post by @NIFRSOFFICIAL
The public has been asked by the fire service not to light fires or barbecues in the countryside, with the good weather risking the outbreak of fires.
Image copyright PAcemaker Image caption The effort to put out the gorse fire is expected to continue for some time
Area commander Brian Stanfield said six fire appliances were at the scene, and the ground is "tinder dry".
He described it as a "significant blaze which is generating high levels of of smoke throughout north Belfast and the city centre".
"Tonight the smoke is down and settling over the city, so we would advise people to close all doors and windows as you don't want the smoke entering your house," he said.
Mr Stanfield said it was normal for this type of blaze to be caused by "human intervention", whether it was deliberate or accidental.
"The fire service has been extremely busy all over the spring period, due to this hot weather and our firefighters are out day and night dealing with these incidents.
"I must stress how important it is for the public to know not to light fires. Most of these fires are either deliberately set or accidentally got out of control, it's human intervention that causes these fires. So we just need to act responsibly to protect our local countryside and people and property."
Since Friday morning, NIFRS has dealt with 134 grass and wildfires.
Image copyright PAcemaker
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