Updated: 04/05/17 : 05:11:40
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Sligo's 'extensive' gorse fire destroys wildlife - Video

Special Report

SLISH WOOD became the centre of an ''extensive'' forest fire and emergency last night, Wednesday.

Three units of Sligo Fire Brigade plus one from Leitrim rushed to the scene near Ballintogher shortly after teatime.

Afforestation and wildlife were destroyed and two houses were in danger for a period during the fire.

Sligo County Council tweeted regular updates of information at the height of the blaze.

Coastguard helicopter, the Sikorsky Rescue 118 based at Sligo Airport, was also called in to help assess the situation.

No Injuries

Shortly before 9pm the County Council confirmed ''crews have managed to protect two houses and in process of protecting forestry.''

The fire was classified as ''extensive'' by the County Council, which also confirmed ''no injuries have been reported.''

Visitors to some of Sligo's best know tourist spots, such as Dooney Rock, were hindered at the height of the fire.

















                   The fire last night seen from the Sports Complex. Photo: Valerie Finan

Wiped Out

North West Nature added online, starkly: ''So much devastation. All the nests with chicks, lizards, insects wiped out.''

The fire was started by ''negligent idiots'' said another tweet, from Iomhar Daly.

The gorse conflagration was centred near Killery, Ballintogher, RTÉ News Now reported.

The area affected in last night's extensive fire includes some of the best mountain and lake scenery nearby to Sligo.






















                                Tweet from Sligo County Council just before 9pm last night


Avoid Areas

Meanwhile, Motorists were advised earlier last night to avoid the Dromahaire Road and Slish Wood areas.

This call, at the height of last night's fire, came as it was felt traffic could impede access for emergency crews.

Smoke spread across the Garavogue River for miles in the aftermath of the gorse fire.

The flames made a spectacular sight as they raged on after darkness fell and drew many onlookers.

Specific assessment of the fire damage to wildlife and habitats will be carried out today and over the weekend.

Traffic restrictions are still in place this morning, Thursday, as emergency services are still at the scene.

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See a drone video by Adam Ripon on YouTube



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                       Sligo firefighters tackle the spreading blaze. Photo: SUPforall on Twitter
























      The fire seen from the Clock Tower at City Hall. Photo: Cllr Marie Casserly - Mayor of Sligo on Twitter