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World War II-era "EIRE" markings revealed by massive fire in Ireland

A raging fire that decimated a swath of coastal Ireland has revealed stunning World War II-era markings, according to photographs captured by the Air Corps this week. A Garda Air Support Unit flying over an area ravaged by the Bray Head fire spotted the markings, which reveal the word "EIRE," the Irish name for the country.

The Irish Independent reports that the letters date from the early 1940s and were used as markers for bomber pilots during the war. According to RTE, the stone signs were relatively common around the country's west coast as a means to warn both Allied and German pilots that they were flying over a neutral country. They were not common on the east coast.

"We see these around the coastline but haven't seen this before," tweeted An Garda Síochána, which posted two images of the markings on Saturday.  

"The Air Corps helped put the fire out and then the Garda helicopter, which we fly, noticed the sign emerging from the past," a spokesperson told RTE.

According to The Irish Independent, the Bray Head fire ravaged parts of County Wicklow south of Dublin last month during a heat wave, forcing several home evacuations. The blaze was finally put out with the help of about 40,000 gallons of sea water.