Cork farmers 'lead way on controlled fire training'
Controlled burning training courses for farmers are crucial to the prevention of future gorse fires, Teagasc forestry adviser John Casey said.
Mr Casey, based in Cork, stressed that if a flame is more than three metres in height, the farmer is no longer in control of it.
"Prescribed burning is perfectly legal, it's cost-effective in terms of getting rid of unwanted vegetation but it needs to be done with a level of understanding and skill," he said.
Mr Casey said the Cork Wildfire Cooperative Group, a multi-agency group supported by Teagasc, Forest Service, IFA, gardaí, Cork County Council and Coillte is leading the way on the issue. "We have been doing fire training and awareness events since 2012 in Cork and lately in the Kerry area. There have also been a number of awareness events in Wicklow.
"It's something that would be very useful on a nationwide basis. Farmers know how to burn and they do it very competently, but there are practices that will increase how effective you are doing it," he said.