Saturday 07th July 2018 - Update: Defence Forces Support to Wildfires.

Today the Defence Forces deployed two helicopters to assist local authorities fighting a large fire in the Slieve Bloom Mountains near the Laois-Offaly border. This is the third day the Air Corps have been involved with the Slieve Bloom fire, and over the course of the three days they have dropped over 100,000 litres of water in assisting the local fire services. There were also 75 troops deployed on the ground to assist last Thursday drawn from barracks in Athlone and Kilkenny.

This is the eighth consecutive day the Defence Forces have deployed assets in a bid to stop the spread of wildfires in remote regions. Following requests from the civil authorities, the Air Corps has responded to requests in Dublin, Wicklow, Limerick, Cork, Tipperary and Offaly and has dropped over 400,000 litres of water using specialised equipment.

Agusta Westland AW139 helicopters have been utilised as they can be equipped with a ‘Bambi’ bucket aerial firefighting system capable of dropping 1,200 litres of water per pass. This amount of water, concentrated in a small areas, makes an immediate impact on wildfires.

The Air Corps have also provided a Eurocopter EC135 as a command and control platform and a CASA CN235 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, which is equipped with power sensors and radar, to identify other areas affected throughout Ireland.

These operation are ongoing and the Defence Forces are prepared to continue firefighting operations in support of our communities.

Press Release Date: Saturday 07th July 2018

For Further Information contact:

Press Officer: Comdt. Seán Ó Fátharta

Tel: 045 49 2502 , 045 49 2503

Mobile : 087 2482130

E-mail: Press Officer