Council warns of risk of gorse fires despite cold weather

Donegal County Council is appealing to land owners and members of the public to exercise caution during the current period of dry weather and to take all necessary measures to prevent gorse fires and similar fires.

With the current period of dry weather, gorse, heather and other undergrowth is extremely dry.  Fires are likely to spread rapidly and get out of control causing unnecessary damage and putting houses, property and possibly life at risk. These fires also interfere with wildlife breeding and nesting and, in many cases, decimate the local wildlife population.

Donegal County Council would also like to remind landowners and members of the public that under the Wildlife Act 1976 and the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000. It is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between 1st day of March and 31st day of August in any year.

The council says  despite the severe weather being experienced in many parts of the country, the Fire Weather Index forecast produced by Met Eireann for the period 27th to 31st March predicts high fire risk conditions for fire in many parts of Ireland. Low rainfall and moderate South-East or East breezes are forecast to continue for the coming days and will contribute to high fire risk conditions particularly in the South West, West and North-West of the country.