In pictures: Exhausted fire crews battle blaze in Mourne Mountains

ireland
In Pictures: Exhausted Fire Crews Battle Blaze In Mourne Mountains In Pictures: Exhausted Fire Crews Battle Blaze In Mourne Mountains
An exhausted Haley Agnew as she works with fellow firefighters on Slieve Donard. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images
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The firefighting operation at the Mourne Mountains in Co Down is being scaled back after three days of battling moor and gorse fires.

The major incident status was de-escalated at about lunchtime on Sunday and firefighters moved to working on extinguishing hotspots.

Heather McLachlan, the National Trust’s regional director for Northern Ireland, described a very sad day as she surveyed the damage to the landscape from the fire.

“A lot of our land has been impacted by the fire, from Thomas Mountain through to Millstone Mountain over to Donard,” she said.

“It’s a bit of a lunar landscape and still some of the peat bog is smouldering.

“A very sad day for all of us and we’re going to have quite a lot of work to do to look at what the restoration might look like for us. We’re going to work with colleagues across the National Trust who have experienced these things before and make sure that we get their expertise and wisdom in how we can help this site move forward.”

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The blaze in the Slieve Donard area started in the early hours of Friday.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service declared a major incident on Saturday.

There is no indication yet of how it started.

A helicopter flies over the slopes of Slieve Donard on Saturday as moorland and gorse fires blaze below. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Slieve Donard on Saturday. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has been tackling moorland and gorse fires on the slopes of Slieve Donard since Friday. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Police urged members of the public to stay away from the area as firefighters continued to tackle the fire. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The NIFRS declared the blaze a major incident. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Firefighter Haley Agnew wipes sweat from her brow as she works with fellow firefighters on Slieve Donard. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

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