Two fires overnight threaten separate areas of Killarney National Park

In all there were four separate incidents in the south of the county overnight.
Two fires overnight threaten separate areas of Killarney National Park
A firefighter tackling a gorse fire in Cork. Picture: Cork County Fire Service.

The fire service in Kerry has appealed to the public and to farmers not to burn in park and commonage areas after two fires overnight threatened two separate areas of the Killarney National Park.

In all there were four separate incidents in the south of the county overnight, while Cork County Fire Service has attended a number of gorse fires since last Thursday.

In a major fire, some 150 acres of the Killarney National Park near Dinis beauty spot were burned.

Three units of firefighters from Killarney and Kenmare attended the scene before it was eventually brought under control after the fire reached the river of the Long Range which connects the Upper and Muckross lakes.

The Dinis fire appears to have started on the road to Dinis Cottage, a Victorian tea house at the meeting point of the lakes of Killarney. It was burning for some time before the fire service were alerted and it took four hours to control.

The Killarney service then had to attend a fire at the foot of Mangerton mountain again at a forested beauty spot looking onto the national park.

Two other fires in Kilcummin and in the Glencar area also needed attention.

The fires are the latest in a series which began with the recent period of fine weather. Burning has been illegal since the beginning of March under the wildlife acts to protect bird, animal and plant life.

The practice of burning land to drive grass growth and control scrub is widespread in many parts of the country each spring. It has been condemned by wildlife and conservation groups.

Killarney National Park. File image.
Killarney National Park. File image.

Controlled burning under the supervision of the fire service is the way forward, has been suggested by representatives and others.

Where it has been implemented in Killarney, it has reduced the impact of wildfires which annually threaten the national park as well as housing.

On Friday, Kerry County Council appealed to landowners not to place additional strain on emergency services at a time when those services are already involved in supporting the national response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Cork County Fire Service has called on all landowners to "cease and desist" all controlled burning after being called out to a number of gorse fires.

Since last Thursday 26th March,

In a statement, they said that since last Thursday "Bantry, Castletownbere, Schull, Skibbereen, Dunmanway, Midleton, Macroom, Mallow and Fermoy Fire Brigades have all attended various gorse/outdoor fires. Some of these calls required the attendance of multiple brigades.

"In light of the ongoing Covid-19 National Emergency, Cork County Fire Service wish to advise ALL LANDOWNERS to cease and desist all controlled burning effective immediately.

Picture: Cork County Fire Service.
Picture: Cork County Fire Service.

"Since 1st March it is illegal for landowners to burn off scrub, vegetation etc. from the land.

"These fires can draw important fire brigade resources away from responding to other emergency calls, especially at this current time when our resources may be required elsewhere."

The statement added: "For anybody living in areas that are prone to gorse fires we would as always advise that you remove gorse and dead vegetation from around buildings, oil tanks, fences, forestry and poles in order to reduce your risk of losses due to any potential gorse fires that may occur.

"During this current crisis, Cork County Fire Service would like to reassure you, that should you require the Fire Service we will as always be ready to attend Emergency calls."

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