Council hears of full impact of Donegal gorse fires

The full extent of the damage caused by gorse fires which raged across the county last month has been revealed.

Donegal County Council has told of the huge cost, financially, through lost property and destroyed forestry, that was incurred.

Between the 30th of April and May 5th of this year the fire service received at total of 425 call-outs with a minimum of 169 fire related incidents responded too.

Tackling the fires cost the council an estimated 400,000 euro, it is to look for assistance from Central Government in meeting those costs.

One residential property was destroyed in the fires while Coilte losses are estimated at 550 Hectares.

No figure is available on how much private forestry was lost, but the areas of Dungloe, Portnoo and Glenties were worst effected.

It's thought at least 7,700 hectares of bog, upland and mountain grazing ground was destroyed or damaged.

A number of areas have been identified that could be improved in responding to future fires. These include improving liaison protocols with the Army - during the fires political intervention was required before the army was tasked to the scene.

Bringing in help from other counties will also be discussed as will exploring ways how volunteers might provide assistance in a systematic and safe manner.