Major forest fire close to Galway Wind Park

Two units of Galway Fire Service attended the 169MW Galway Wind Park site in Cloosh Valley, Connemara last night to tackle a major forest fire in close proximity to the wind farm project currently under construction. Galway Wind Park is a joint venture development project between SSE and forestry company Coillte.

The fire comprises a number of separate fire events to the south of Galway Wind Park and stretches across an area of forestry approximately 5km in length.

SSE activated its practised emergency response procedures yesterday afternoon as the situation in the area escalated. The SSE project team is working closely with local ground crews in Coillte Forest to coordinate the emergency response.

Overnight, the tail of the fire encroached within 40 meters of a partially installed turbine. Crews from Galway Fire Service and Coillte tackled the blaze, pushing it back to around 300 meters from the turbine and bringing this individual fire event under control. Galway Fire Service has now departed the site but remains on standby should the fire pose a further threat to the installed wind turbine infrastructure.

A Coillte-deployed helicopter, which has been on site for the past two days working to extinguish the fire, has returned to site this morning and is being joined by a helicopter from the Air Corps which is on-site to support these efforts.

Our priority is to deal with the incident while ensuring the safety of our employees, contractors, ground crews and support personnel remains our number one priority at all times. The company will issue a further statement when more details are available.