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UPDATED: Road closures now in place as people urged not to travel to view Slieve Bloom fire

Fire and Rescue services are urging people not to travel to view the forest fire currently engulfing the Slieve Bloom mountains on the Laois-Offaly border while a road is now closed in the vicinity because of the blaze.

“The Cut Road between Clonaslee and Mountmellick is now CLOSED,” said Offaly Fire and Rescue in a statement this evening. 

“All other feeder roads from Kinnitty, Cadamstown, Mountrath to Slieve Blooms should be avoided.

“Firefighting operations are continuing and access roads need to be maintained.

“Please do not travel to view the fire as you will hamper operations.

“Wind directions can quickly change and you may become isolated and trapped by fire spread. Helicopter water drops will continue.”

In a separate post on their Facebook they again highlighted some of the dangers.

“Again we cannot emphasise the importance of not disposing of cigarettes out of car windows when travelling.

“We are asking that you do not light any fires, either for farming or any other reason.

“As we are currently involved in a significant forest fire we ask the public to assist us in limiting the potential for further outbreaks. If you see a fire report it.

“We all have a responsibility to the environment and our local economy to limit the potential for these fires to start.”

A fire warning was issued by the Government last week as temperatures soar to 30C and above.

The Department warned people about about the dangers of blazes which could arise in vegetated areas as a result of the heat.

In a statement, the department said: “Under extreme Fire Risk Conditions any ignition may give rise to rapid and unpredictable wildfire development and spread, particularly in dead grasses, and low moisture shrub fuels like gorse and heather.”

Today’s fire in the Slieve Bloom is visible for miles in all directions with readers getting in touch with us from Stradbally, Ballyroan and Tyrellspass in Westmeath to say they can see it from where they are.

SEE ALSO – Emergency services on the scene tackling huge fire in the Slieve Blooms

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories