Major gorse fires in Donegal

The volcanic ash spewing out of craters in Iceland may be dominating headlines both locally and nationally but Donegal is experiencing its own problems with numerous gorse fires reducing visibility throughout the county.

The public is being urged to be aware of the danger of gorse-fires in the wake of a major fire on bogland in Glenties on Sunday afternoon.

The blaze broke out at Toome in Leitirmacward shortly before 4 o’clock on Sunday and six fire brigade units were called to deal with the outbreak.

It took over six hours to bring the flames under control, with crews remaining at the scene until after ten o’clock on Monday night and this situation worsened as some smaller-scale gorse fires broke out.

Donegal’s Acting Chief Fire Officer, Bobby McMenamin is warning those who deliberately start gorse fires that they are potentially diverting fire-fighters away from dealing with more serious incidents.

He said, “Units from Glenties, Gweedore, Killybegs and Donegal Town were all deployed to tackle the fire on Sunday leaving parts of the county without cover. This can give rise to a potentially dangerous situation especially if some of these fires are malicious.”

Donegal’s fire service received ninety call-outs to gorse fires across Killybegs, Glenties, Dungloe Gweedore and Falcarragh in the past week alone and four units spent over six hours trying to bring a fire on bogland near Glenties under control last Thursday.

Mr. McMenamin is further urging the public to exercise e=extreme care and to be vigilant in this extremely dry spell.


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