Council warns of risk of wildfires

The Donegal Fire Service is urging people to be aware of the risk of wildfires, and not to undertake any burning or activity that might cause uncontrolled fires to start.

The service says it continues to respond to requests for assistance as normal, notwithstanding the current challenging circumstances facing the country, but wildfires severely cmpromise its operations.

In a statement, Donegal County Council says the ability to respond promptly to incidents where life or property is at risk is very much dependent on having fire brigades immediately available.

This capability is greatly reduced, and life and property is placed in greater risk, when fire brigades are responding to large-scale wildfires similar to those that occurred in the Annagry area last Easter.

The council is urging landowners and members of the public to exercise caution, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire Service by dialling 999 or 112.

Where brigades have to respond to wildfires, the councuil is warning the full cost of the brigades' attendance will be charged to the landowner.

House holders or building owners in areas susceptible to wildfire are also advised to remove or cut back any vegetation in the immediate vicinity of their house, building or oil tank to prevent wildfires damaging or destroying their property.

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Statement in full -

Donegal Fire Service continues to respond to requests for assistance as normal notwithstanding the current challenging circumstances facing the Country arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

The ability to maintain the fire services capability to respond promptly to incidents where life or property is at risk is very much dependent on having our fire brigades immediately available to respond. This capability is greatly reduced, and consequently life and property is placed in greater risk, when our fire brigades are responding to large-scale wildfires similar to those that occurred in the Annagry area in Easter of last year.

 

Donegal County Council appeals to landowners and to members of the public to exercise caution and to refrain from any activities such as lighting fires outdoors, dumping hot ashes etc. in order to prevent the occurrence of wildfires which can quickly spread on areas covered in gorse, heather or similar type vegetation.

Land owners and members of the public are urged to be vigilant and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire Service by dialling 999 or 112.

Where brigades have to respond to wildfires the full cost of the brigades attendance will be charged to the landowner.

 

House holders or building owners in areas susceptible to wildfire are also advised to remove or cut back any vegetation in the immediate vicinity of their house, building or oil tank to prevent wildfires damaging or destroying their property.

 

Donegal County Council also reminds 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.