NEWS

Full and active garda investigation into circumstances surrounding west Donegal fires

Volunteers fought for hours to stop raging fires

Michelle NicPhaidin

Reporter:

Michelle NicPhaidin

Email:

news@donegaldemocrat.com

Full and active garda investigation into circumstances surrounding west Donegal fires

Sergeant Charlene Anderson has said that a full and active garda investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fires which devastated west Donegal in recent days, is underway and appealed to anyone with any information to call Milford Garda Station.

There was widespread devastation this week in west Donegal as a result of fires.

Destruction

A number of homes were lost and property and machinery were destroyed as a result of the blaze. The fire had a huge impact on the people of the Rosses community.

Roads were closed. The road from Burtonport to Kincasslagh, the R259, remains closed and is likely to remain closed for some time.

Appeal

Gardaí are appealing to anyone with any information to come forward and speak to them.

"We would be appealing to anyone, if they have any information in relation to the fires or indeed how they started, that they would contact us at Milford Garda Station.

"We are also appealing to anyone who was in the Loughanure or Meenamara area on Sunday night into the early hours of Monday morning, and may have noticed anything or again, if they are aware of any circumstances surrounding the fires or may have contributed to those fires, we would be urging them to contact us and speak with us," Sergeant Anderson told the 'Nine til Noon Show.'

Stay away from fires

Ms Anderson said that the priority, at the moment, is making sure that all fires are out and that the community is safe.

She said that in the event of any other gorse fires people are being urged to stay away from fires.

"We would be asking people that they would stay away from the areas of the fire, unless they are volunteers, as a large number of people showing up at scenes can restrict the emergency services from entering such scenes and also they are putting themselves at risk as well," she said.

People are being asked to exercise caution, to take extra care when using camping stoves, disposable barbecues and discarding cigarettes.

She said that people who live in an area which is susceptible to wildfires, it is recommended that cut back and remove any vegetation that would be close to their property or oil tanks.

Report any uncontrolled fire to the emergency services.

Bravery

Sergeant Anderson commended all volunteers who worked together to quell the fires and she also commended the emergency services.

She commended the emergency services and said: "I think it is important that we acknowledge the work of all the emergency services and particularly the local people who came out and supported the emergency services. They showed immense bravery and commitment to their local communities and they should be commended for their heroic efforts yesterday."