Property could be at risk from gorse fires

January 31st, 2022 5:50 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Four units of the Cork County Fire Brigade were called out to a large gorse fire last night at Sparrograda, between Ballydehob and Bantry. At its height, the fire front was 1km wide, but was extinguished at around midnight. (Photo: Andy Gibson)

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The lack of proper protocols governing gorse fires could be damaging to property, according to Rory Jackson, Green party member and the founder of the Stop Gorse Fires Facebook group.

Commenting on the recent spate of gorse fires in Skibbereen, Schull, Tragumna, Bantry, Beara, and Cape Clear Island, Rory Jackson, said that while it not illegal to burn the land – landowners have until March 1st –it’s never good practice because it can get out of control and put pressure on our rescue services.

‘It has been an extraordinarily dry winter and January has been one of the driest on record,’ said Rory, who pointed out that the country as a whole is on the limit of its water tables. But he added that the damage to our biodiversity and wildlife ‘is incalculable.’ He said the scorching of the land displaces and erodes wildlife and puts them under pressure to survive.

Des Quinn of Skibbereen Fire Brigade – just one of the units out tackling fires during the January dry spell – confirmed their attendance at gorse fires in Tragumna and Church Cross this week. He said they were ‘controlled burnings’ but they ‘did present a cause of concern for some residents.’

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