Firefighters in Wicklow contend with the worst gorse fires in years putting Rocky Valley homes under threat.

Gorse fires have unfortunately become a frequent occurrence in County Wicklow this summer, but today force five westerly winds helped create the worst blaze in the area to date.  

Units from the Civil Defence, the Wicklow Fire Brigade, and neighbours all worked together to prevent flames spreading to houses in the Rocky Valley. The current water shortages made their work even more difficult, and at one stage John Linnane feared his home would not be saved,  

At one stage they were trying to fight the fire with no water.

The shortage of water meant that Wicklow Fire Brigade had to bring water to the scene in slurry tankers, which was the turning point in the battle against the flames, Assistant Civil Defence Officer Jessie Smith,

Then we got the hoses out...and the manpower so we were able to overtake everything, thankfully. 

Another Rocky Valley resident Pat O'Connell was also counting his blessings, as the fire had come within ten feet of his house,  

The smoke was just intense, you just couldn’t see your hand. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 August 1995. The reporter is Anne Marie Smyth.