Cookstown among gorse fire callouts

THE majority of Fire Service callouts to gorse fires in the first week of April were to western areas including Cookstown.

A total of 229 blazes occurred west of the Bann, in Londonderry, Omagh, Enniskillen and Cookstown. There were a further 84 fires in the south, 46 in the north, and 28 in the east.

Dale Ashford of the NIFRS said that while most of the incidents were small, 36 cases required extra crews and resources to be drafted in.

The number of gorse fires in Northern Ireland has been steadily decreasing in recent years, from a total of 5,895 in 2010 down to 3,897 in 2011 and 1,416 in 2012.