Page last updated at 07:59 GMT, Monday, 26 May 2008 08:59 UK

Forest fire started deliberately

fire engine

A fire which destroyed five acres of forest near Londonderry was started deliberately, the Fire and Rescue Service has said.

About 50 firefighters spent hours tackling the blaze in woodland at Killaloo, off the Gulf Road.

Fifteen acres of gorse and heather were also destroyed, but the fire was prevented from spreading to a much larger forest.

Fire Service commander Willie Lynch said they were hampered by the weather.

"The trees there are about 30ft high, and the gorse has been growing there for a number of years and is about two feet high," he said.

"Everything is so very dry, and the fire was able to spread at an alarming rate.

"As well as that, we were hampered badly by the wind, which kept whipping up the fire and driving it very quickly," he said.

In a separate incident, a man had to be rescued from a fire at his home in Glenside Road in Derry on Sunday.

He fell asleep after leaving the cooker on, and was treated for the effects of breathing in smoke.

Warning follows 900 NI wildfires
21 May 08 |  Northern Ireland

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