Thrill-seekers put others in danger with 'deliberate' fire - PSNI

Aftermath of the fire at Slievetrue Road (source: PSNI Newtownabbey Facebook).
Aftermath of the fire at Slievetrue Road (source: PSNI Newtownabbey Facebook).

Police have hit out over the "selfish" actions of those who started a deliberate fire over the weekend.

It comes after PSNI officers were called to support the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service in dealing with a blaze in the Slievetrue Road area on Saturday.

A PSNI spokesperson said: "This is not the first time it's happened; just a couple of weeks ago there were large fires in front of Knockagh monument, which NIFRS had to work in difficult conditions to put out."

Pictures showing the aftermath of the blaze were taken on Sunday and were the result of "deliberately set fires" from Saturday night, the spokesperson added: "Thankfully some locals saw the fires; their quick phone call and the quick actions of the NIFRS meant damage was kept to a minimum. Given the dry weather for several weeks leading up to this the fires could easily have had a devastating effect.

"This area of the Slievetrue Road is home to many animals, insects, birds and species of plants and trees. Some of these take years to develop but are being destroyed in seconds.

"Not only that, but the area is very popular with people walking, kids, dog walkers and fishermen. The safety of all these people are put in danger by the outright stupid, selfish and uncaring actions of some who seek a thrill around fire.

"Please, if you see someone acting suspiciously in these areas or indeed trying to start fires please alert us straight away. Likewise if you know who is lighting the fires please contact us. If one of these fires takes hold, not only will it destroy the forest but we may be dealing with something much more serious giving the number of people who use the area."