Gorse fires in February are started by humans, not climate change- Coillte Risk manager
Humans start gorse fires in February, not climate change, Coillte Risk Manager Mick Power has said.
Dublin fire brigade attended to a major gorse fire in the Dublin Mountains last night, with two fire engines attending the scene but no injuries were reported.
Coillte Risk Manager Mick Power told FarmIreland while gorse fires are more common during the months of March-May, he said when vegetation is dry they can happen at any time and are almost always caused by humans in Ireland, except during exceptional circumstances.
“These fires can happen at any time, yes this is earlier than normal but if vegetation is dead and dry there will always be fires going on. There’s no point thinking this was because of the temperatures, we don’t get high enough temperatures in Ireland for fires to start of their own accord, they need to be ignited an in the main they are started by humans,” he said.
“Last summer in June and July we had some fires because of the extreme heat but in the main they were caused by camp fires started by people.”
Mr Power added that farmers this time of year carry out what is supposed to be controlled burning in the hills in order to stem the growth of bracken and heather to make the land ready for agricultural use.
Rathfarnham & Tallaght firefighters are attending a gorse wildfire off the Military road above view point in the Dublin mountains . 2 fire engines on scene #Dublin #fire #DublinMountains pic.twitter.com/poPYE2dsew— Dublin Fire Brigade (@DubFireBrigade) February 25, 2019
“It’s not unusual for land to be burnt at this time of year. Farmers need to be careful and assess the area they are burning. They should notify the fire brigade, Coillte and landowners nearby before they do the burning, so they’ll be able to react in time if there are any issues,” he said.
“That hours notice that burning is taking place can make a huge difference. All it is, is one phone call, even if there is a bad fire nobody is held to account.”