County Wicklow, in Ireland, has recently experienced a series of forest fires, threatening local residences. More surprisingly still, the flames revealed a message from the Second World War, which having remained hidden all these years, is now visible from the sky.
The burned remains of a fire near to Bray Head, at the summit of the Wicklow mountains at 241 m altitude, revealed the letters “EIRE”, meaning “Ireland” in the Irish language. The signal was spotted by the Air Support Unit of the Garda Síochana, the Irish police force, who were flying over the area after the fire. Rocks were placed on the coast during the Second World War in order to signal to fighter pilots that they were flying over neutral territory.
Fires on Bray Head expose amazing World War 2 landmarks. The fires exposed the old Eire 8 sign,which is in reasonable condition. Photos courtesy of the Garda Air Support Unit, which is a mixed unit operated by Air Corps Pilots and Garda specialists. @gardainfo @opwireland pic.twitter.com/4vvg3HIjQv
— Irish Air Corps (@IrishAirCorps) August 4, 2018
“It isn’t the only EIRE sign that we know of”, explained Michael Kennedy of Guarding Neutral Ireland. “There are several along the coasts. The signs were built by the Coast Watching Service by the summer of 1944 to warn “belligerent” aircraft that they were flying over a neutral country”, he explained to Dublin Live. “Up to 150 tons of stone were used in some of the 83 signs dotted around the coast of Ireland.”
Since intense heat hit the United Kingdom and Ireland, note that several archaeological and historical sites have been discovered. The BBC recently reported on the discovery in County Meath, north of Dublin, of remains which could be an ancient henge, a monolithic monument formed of standing stones of about 5,000 years old. Roman farms and air raid shelters dating back to the First World War have also been discovered.
Finally, note that the fire, which spread several kilometers south of Dublin, ravaging a large part of County Wicklow and causing the evacuation of several residences, was finally quenched using seaplanes.