“Fair play to the firemen they kept it at bay and away from the forestry,” said local man, Willie Reidy after units of the Kerry Fire Service were joined by colleagues from Abbeyfeale in curtailing a potential disaster in the Knockatee, Ballinard and Mount Eagle areas up to midnight last night.
“You could say they put in a 12 hour shift at it and they battled hard to bring the fire under control – and no part of the forestry was lost.
They started around mid-day on Saturday and they were there until 12 last night,” said Willie who hails from the neighboring Knockachur.
Fanned by a strong, South-Easterly breeze, the gorse fires broke out in several places on the hillside around Knockatee and skirted planted land in the area.
Local there said that the network of roads in the area would help the firemen to access and stop the spread. A tanker of water from Tralee was brought into play before the areas could be declared safe last night.
“If it got into the forestry there in Mount Eagle it could go all the way over around Ballydesmond and onto to Banteer. There’s a string of the mountain planted there and they’re all connected all the way over the county bounds. That would be a disaster and it’s what people here were afraid of. But fair play to the firemen they worked hard and late to bring it under control,” said Willie.
The forecasted rain for Wednesday will bring blessed relief to all those living in the vicinity of forestry planted land everywhere.