Homeowners in Dublin’s wealthiest area fear wildfires threatening their properties

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Homeowners in one of Ireland’s wealthiest areas told of their fears as gorse wildfires threatened their properties.

Flames have been running for weeks in Howth and flared up again on Thursday night, drawing near to one large red-brick house on Carrickbrack Road.

The owner, who did not want to be named, told the Irish Mirror: “It was quite frightening on Thursday night with all the flames.

“They [Dublin Fire Brigade] just said if you feel you’re in danger just ring them at any time, I feel comforted by that.

“I don’t remember the fire ever coming down that far.”

Dublin Fire Brigade were in attendance again yesterday and the Air Corps used a “Bambi” bucket to collect water from the sea and drop it on affected areas to douse the flames.



Dublin Fire Brigade fight a Gorse Fire on Howth Head this evening as the fire nears closer to property below the hill

However, some neighbours were critical of the handling of the fire, saying it has been left burning too long.

Howth Golf Club was forced to close on Tuesday due to smoke.

A source at the club told the Irish Mirror: “You couldn’t send people out there, they’d be choking, they’d be hospitalised. It was terrible.

“Then every day since we’ve had to advise caution. The danger is two-fold, breathing in you get red eyes and lungs and chest full of smoke, and then it’s that dense at times you can’t see where a ball’s going or whether a ball’s flying at you.

“What started as a relatively small fire, which could have been handled, wasn’t and now the whole hill’s burnt.

“Smoke has been pouring across the course every day this week so it’s a massive public health hazard. It’s a major environmental catastrophe.”



Operations are winding down at the Howth gorse wildfire

Dublin Fire Brigade wildfire expert Darren O’Connor explained that the terrain is very difficult for firefighters.

He said: “That vegetation can produce flame lengths of 2.5 to three metres. Our immediate priority as a fire brigade is to save lives and then to save property.

“It looks like it’s coming down the hill close to homes but there’s actually a wide firebreak that is quite wet, it’s at the bottom of the hill on the Carrickbrack Road.

“At the moment there is no property in immediate danger.”