Irish Wildlife Trust highlight 15 'illegal' wild fires over the weekend, eight in conservation areas

Irish Wildlife Trust highlight 15 'illegal' wild fires over the weekend, eight in conservation areas
One of the wildfires on Achill Island, Co Mayo, over the weekend. Pic: Irish Wildlife Trust

The first dry spell of spring over the weekend brought 15 wild fires across Ireland, according to the Irish Wildlife Trust.

The group said that since Friday they recorded wild fires in counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Galway, Donegal, Louth and Mayo.

They said eight of them were in areas protected for nature conservation and they said "all are illegal" as setting fire to vegetation is prohibited between March 1 and August 31.

One of the wildfires on Achill Island, Co Mayo, over the weekend. Pic: Irish Wildlife Trust
One of the wildfires on Achill Island, Co Mayo, over the weekend. Pic: Irish Wildlife Trust

Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust said: "Every year we see the same wildlife wipe-out as hillsides and bogs get torched. It’s devastating not only for the natural environment but for the people who live in these areas as their livelihoods and property are put at risk.

"We need to see greater coordination between the Gardaí, the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Agriculture to clamp down on this illegal activity."

The IWT thanked the fire services for bringing the blazes under control, and urged people to contact them on social media or otherwise to alert them about wild fires.

Anyone with details can also email the Irish Wildlife Trust at irishwildlife@iwt.ie so they can log the wild fires.

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