Strong winds to blame for large gorse blaze in Laxey

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Fire crews spent five hours tackling a large gorse fire in Agneash, Laxey yesterday afternoon.

The gorse fire is believed to have been caused by increasing wind strength reigniting an area of previously controlled burning from two days earlier, which rapidly spread due to the current dry spell.

Initial crews arrived at the scene at around 3.20pm and discovered the fire spreading quickly.

They prevented the fire from spreading to a nearby property and once additional resources arrived from Douglas Station, efforts were made to prevent the fire spreading to neighbouring fields.

The Agneash road was closed to allow crews to work safely and relay water to the fire ground from an open water source some distance away.

Crews were hampered by the prevailing wind conditions, access to the area involved and limited water supplies.

The blaze was put out by 8.15pm but fire crews stayed for another hour to check the area.

Three major pumps, an off-road vehicle and a water tanker were used to tackle the large fire.

All of the equipment was returned to both Laxey and Douglas Stations by 9.18pm.

Isle of Man Fire and Rescue Service station officer Brian Quirk said if anybody was considering carrying out a controlled burn to ensure that the Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) was contacted beforehand by calling 697327.

Also, he urged people to consider the weather and look for any forecasted changes which may have an impact such as increasing wind strength or change of direction.

For further information about fire safety go to the ‘Fire and Rescue Service’ page at www.gov.im

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