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Firefighters tackle 'major' blaze in Northern Ireland's Mourne Mountains

Firefighters inNorthern Ireland are battling “major” gorse fires in the Mourne Mountains, close to the town of Newcastle.

The public has been urged to stay away from the town-facing slope of the country’s tallest peak, Slieve Donard, as dramatic images showed the fires burning above the seaside resort below.

“This is devastating and tragic. The impact on wildlife and flora is unimaginable. Full support to those battling the flames,” said Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) said on Saturday morning that they were escalating their efforts.

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