Northern Ireland

Fire at 13th hole disrupts golf tournament in Portrush

fire at rathmore golf course
Image caption The fire was on land close to the 13th hole at Rathmore golf club

A golf open week in Portrush has been disrupted by a fire on the edge of the course.

Fire crews had to use golf carts and buggies to tackle the blaze on land near the 13th hole at Rathmore golf club.

About 30 hectares of gorse facing onto the County Antrim course were destoyed in the fire.

Jeff White from the Fire and Rescue Service said initial indications suggest it was started deliberately.

"This was a significant fire. It was a difficult operation," he said.

"We had to park the vehicles up and move some distance on foot.

"We were fortunate to have the assistance of staff from the golf club who were able to ferry us in some of their golf carts and buggies.

"Fire fighters then had to walk through heavy gorse, grass, sand dunes and hills, so it was a difficult terrain to work in."