04 Oct 2022

Three men hospitalised after tackling bog fire close to Laois/Offaly border

Three men hospitalised with smoke inhalation after attending Laois bog fire

Aerial view of the bog fire taken by Laois Civil Defence drone.

Three men are understood to have been hospitalised following a wildfire on a bog close to Portarlington which has lingered since breaking out last week.

It is understood the men, who were working for or contracted to Bord na Móna, attended to scene of a fire between Portarlington and Mountmellick at Garymore last Friday evening, May 5.

The men were on the scene in the early stages and attempted to dampen the fire but soon became overwhelmed by smoke. It is understood that all three men, who are from the area, went to hospital and at least two were detained overnight for treatment.

Laois Fire and Rescue Service attended the scene after the men were forced to retreat. It said the fire required further attention on Monday and Tuesday as sections of peat and heather continued to rekindle.

Fire crews from Portarlington, Mountmellick and Portlaoise were in attendance at various stages over the last few days. Laois Civil Defence were called in to deploy a drone to help tackle the fire at its height.

In relation to the injuries, a spokesperson was unable to provide details but confirmed that people were affected but the injuries were sustained prior to the fire service's arrival on the scene.

Coillte's biggest area of State-owned forestry is located in the Slieve Bloom Mountain range which runs into Offaly and Laois.

Coillte will be anxious to avoid losses caused by fire that it has suffered in the Cloosh Valley in Co. Galway where 1,500 hectares of forestry and 2,000 hectares of bogland have been destroyed in recent days.

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