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Wildfires: the costs, the causes and the ways to avoid them

The fires that have ravaged Killarney National park and the Mournes have caused incalculable damage, and were entirely preventable

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Inferno: A wildfire rages across thousands of acres of Killarney National Park. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Inferno: A wildfire rages across thousands of acres of Killarney National Park. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Diverted resources: A helicopter pours water on a forest fire. Photo: Teagasc

Diverted resources: A helicopter pours water on a forest fire. Photo: Teagasc

Up in smoke: Wildfires can destroy a farmer’s pension in a few minutes. Photo: Teagasc

Up in smoke: Wildfires can destroy a farmer’s pension in a few minutes. Photo: Teagasc

Damage: Wildfires can destroy valuable habitats as well as people’s homes. Photo: Teagasc

Damage: Wildfires can destroy valuable habitats as well as people’s homes. Photo: Teagasc

Affected: A frightened sheep following the great fires in Killarney. Photo Don MacMonagle

Affected: A frightened sheep following the great fires in Killarney. Photo Don MacMonagle

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Inferno: A wildfire rages across thousands of acres of Killarney National Park. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Watching huge wildfires destroy large tracts of the beautiful Mourne Mountains and Killarney National Park in recent days was exasperating.

The cause was either carelessness or criminality — either way, plain stupid and perfectly avoidable.


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