A gorse fire in the Wicklow Mountains last month 'wiped out habitats', according to a wildlife expert.
The blaze, which Wicklow Fire Service believes was started deliberately, burned for a number of days in April.
It is understood to have been caused by the illegal burning of vegetation.
Campaigns Officer for the Irish Wildlife Trust Padraig Fogarty says this has been happening in the Wicklow Mountains for years.
People sometimes ask why we suspect some gorse / wildland fires are started deliberately. As with this incident on Carrig Lane near the Blessington Lakes, on Wednesday, we cite “multiple seats of fire”, not something that happens naturally or by accident. @gardainfo pic.twitter.com/C2L3BFZIPK— Wicklow Fire Service (@FireWicklow) April 24, 2020
“What we don’t have is any kind of incentive. We have no carrot, we have no vision for what these places could look like,” he said.
“The message we’re trying to get across is that these areas could be absolutely amazing for wildlife and amenity and for all the environmental benefits.
“But we don’t see that vision being realised yet.”
Up until 12pm today, there was a red forest fire warning in place across Ireland.