Police issue warning over gorse fires

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PSNI are urging those involved in setting a number of recent gorse fires to consider the possible consequences of their actions on their communities.

Superintendent Emma Bond said that since Monday 1st May there have been almost 250 fires across the country, with the majority, they believe, having been set deliberately.

She added: “Gorse fires have the potential to cause widespread damage to the environment and harm to wildlife, as well as threatening homes, farms and the people living in those areas. The unpredictability of fire can also mean that those setting them may be putting their own lives at risk as well as the lives of the fire service personnel and other emergency services tasked to deal with them. There can also be untold consequences to tying up crucial emergency resources that may be needed elsewhere.

“I would appeal to those people who are causing the fires to think of their actions and the consequences of them, and I would ask anyone with any information which could help us identify those involved to contact their local police station on 101 and pass that information on.”

Meanwhile, Coillte has confirmed that recent forest fires in the Republic of Ireland have resulted in hundreds of hectares of productive commercial forestry being destroyed.

These forest fires have also threatened the welfare of many homes and local communities, as well as causing devastation to vast areas of wildlife habitat.