150ac of land damaged following gorse fire in Kerry

Approximately 150ac of land was damaged following an extensive gorse fire in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry, last night, Sunday, March 29.

In a statement, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said it has been battling a fire in the Dinis region of Killarney National Park with support from two units of Kenmare and Killarney fire services and Kerry County Council.

The service added: “It is believed that approximately 150ac has been damaged.

Aside from diverting emergency services, it is illegal to burn land at this time and those that do face penalties.

“It’s now prime season for nesting birds, breeding mammals and regeneration of growth and habitats after winter.

“NPWS appeals to the public to stop setting gorse fires,” the service added.

On Friday, March 27, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed issued a warning to landowners not to carry out illegal burning.

In a statement on the matter, the minister said: “Given the current emergency arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside.”

The Department of Agriculture issued a warning to all landowners in relation to illegal burning, and the serious risks posed to land eligibility and payments under agricultural schemes following illegally set fires.