Firefighters are continuing to tackle a fierce blaze on steep slopes Slieve Donard.
The NI Fire and Rescue Service has declared the fire on the Mourne Mountains in County Down a “major incident”.
Scenes unfolding in the area of outstanding natural beauty have been described as “deeply distressing”.
image captionThere was hope on Friday morning that the gorse fire could be easily contained
image captionUp to 70 firefighters negotiated challenging terrain to tackle the blaze
image captionBut easterly winds soon caused the fire to spread across the lower slopes of Slieve Donard, the Glen River Valley and Thomas Mountain
image captionSmoke and flames could be seen from as far away as Belfast
image captionTributes have been paid to the “heroic work” of the emergency services
image captionFire appliances have been unable to reach the fire on the steep mountain slopes – firefighters have been beating the flames with shovels
image captionEfforts to contain the blaze on Northern Ireland’s highest mountain continued on Friday and Saturday
image captionBut as daylight faded on Friday, the severity of the fire was brought into sharp relief against the shadow of the mountains
image captionThe fire continued to burn as fire crews retreated overnight on Friday, ready to direct “significant resources” to the Mourne Mountains on Saturday
image captionPolice have urged the public to stay away from the area on Saturday to allow firefighters to concentrate on the blaze