Forest blaze cost to run into millions
THE cost of weekend fires, which have destroyed up to 4,000 acres of timber on privately owned and state woodland, is expected to run into tens of million of euro.
Last night, as just one fire continued to burn in Co Donegal, the Minister of State for Forestry, Shane McEntee, condemned those responsible for "one of the worst weekends in the history of Irish forestry".
Speaking in the Dail, Mr McEntee said he was "absolutely appalled at the flagrant disregard for the law, property and lives" by a small minority of people who continued to set fires.
Mr McEntee said that the fires had caused immense risk to the safety of emergency services personnel, land owners, forest owners and members of the public.
Urging co-operation with the gardai, Mr McEntee added that when the perpetrators were identified, they would face the possibility of prosecution, fines and imprisonment.