Donegal County Council has warned the public not to risk a repeat of last Easter’s wildfires which caused havoc in West Donegal.
Houses were damaged and hundreds of acres of land scorched in and around Annagry due to a number of blazes.
Now the council has issued a statement warning people to take extra care.
A spokesperson said 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.
They added 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.
They added “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.”
Landowners 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.
The spokesperson added “Householders 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.Tags: