Fire crews continuing to battle blaze in country's largest forest

Coillte says the fire "is still moving at some pace" on one front, while it has been brought under control elsewhere

Fire crews continuing to battle blaze in country's largest forest

Image: Irish Air Corps via Facebook

Firefighters are continuing to battle a fire in the country's largest forest.

One unit of the fire brigade remains on the scene in Cloosh Valley in Connemara after it was largely brought under control last night.

Helicopters are also continuing to drop water on the fire.

Yesterday Coillte said the situation had escalated, putting thousands of acres of forest at risk.

Ireland's largest wind farm, Galway Wind Park, is located within the forest, and is close to the fire.

Ciarán Fallon of Coillte spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the status of the blaze this morning.

He explained: "At the moment, 1,000 [of 4,000 hectares] have been destroyed by the fire. 

"Overnight, temperatures appear to have dropped. While it was burning on three fronts yesterday, it appears to be under control on two fronts. On one front, it is still moving at some pace."

He explained that there are currently more than 20 gorse fires elsewhere across the country.

"This time of the year you have dry weather, a lot of dead vegetation on the ground, and high winds - really it's the perfect storm for fires.

"We also have a lot of people, we believe, who are either [involved] in ill-judged attempts to clear land or deliberately starting fires around the country. These are not happening by accident."