Fire in the Slieve Blooms on July 4. Pic: Offaly Fire Service
Forest fires are still raging across the Slieve Bloom mountains this morning, with a second helicopter on the way to back up fire crews fighting blazes on the ground.
The fire spread from the Offaly side to Laois forestry with winds overnight, and now crews are battling the fires on both sides.
An Irish Air Corps helicopter is expected to arrive before 11am to begin dropping water on the Laois side.
Fire crews from Mountmellick and Mountrath are currently on the ground around the Glendine O'Regan area, along with Coillte workers.
In Offaly crews from Birr and Ferbane are working, while Coillte has a helicopter dumping water in the Spink Wolftrap area there, as well as their staff working on the ground to fight the fires.
Laois County Fire & Rescue Chief Fire Officer Declan Power gave an update to the Leinster Express this morning.
"The fire is still ongoing, but it is being controlled. Operations are in hand," he said.
"The Cut road is still closed. Our crews were all pulled off the mountain last night and we rendezvoused in Clonaslee at 7am this morning," he said.
There is no danger at present to homes or livestock, CFO Power said.
"It is mainly forestry. Gardaí put out a Community Alert text last night to homes, but there was no concern overnight," he said.
He has repeated the warning for onlookers to stay clear of the fires.
"Stay away from the areas, so they do not hamper with fire service operations. The crews are working away and doing a good job," he said.