A huge gorse fire in Loughmacrory, County Tyrone, was deliberately set alight by arsonists.,
Omagh Fire Station Commander Michael Brown said he believed the blaze, just before 10pm on Wednesday night, was an arson attack.
Mr Brown thanked members of the public who helped his crews battle the blaze, and preventing it from reaching two nearby farmhouses.
Mr Brown was among 13 firefighters who were called to deal with the blaze.
Speaking to BBC NI, Mr Brown added that members of a local community group had been “brilliant” in assisting his crews to protect the houses on Fingrean Road.
However, at one point, firefighters had to ask local politicians to issue call on members of the public to clear the road.
Sinn Fein MLA Declan McAleer praised community volunteers for “stepping forward at a moments notice with their shovels to assist the fire brigade tackle a major gorse fire”.
The operation is continuing this morning (Thursday).
🔥 Community volunteers stepping forward at a moments notice with their shovels to assist the fire brigade tackle a major gorse fire outside Loughmacrory, near Omagh pic.twitter.com/orJApk4x4e
— Declan Mc Aleer MLA (@mc_mla) April 15, 2020
Sign Up To Our Newsletter
Sign up to our newsletter for major breaking news stories as they happen – right to your inbox.