Firefighters contain major blaze at Slieve Bloom

Coillte has warned that the fire is still not under complete control

Firefighters contain major blaze at Slieve Bloom

Image: Gerard Murphy, Coillte/Twitter

A major fire in Slieve Bloom on the Laois Offaly border is still burning - although it has been contained.

The situation is being hampered by the dry warm conditions, which Met Éireann has said will continue for the coming week.

Irish Water is also increasing restrictions - with a nationwide hosepipe ban now in place for the entire country.

Firefighters have been battling the blaze on Slieve Bloom on the Laois Offaly border for a number of days - with the help of the army, Air Corps and Coillte.

The fire has destroyed hundreds of hectares of forestry and has caused millions of Euro worth of damage.

Managing Director of Coillte Gerard Murphy says they are not out of the woods just yet:

“It is still not under full control because there are still a lot of hotspots in the forest,” he said.

“If the weather – particular the temperatures – increase and we get wind, or certainly wind change, that can cause problems and escalate the fire again.”

Coillte officers remain at the scene – while a helicopter is surveying the site.

Met Éireann says there will be little or no rainfall over the next ten days - while temperatures could reach highs of 29C or 30C degrees over the weekend.

Reporting from Paul Quinn ...