THE TOTAL COST of damage caused by the forest and gorse fires that hit various parts of the country earlier this month will rise to around €7.4 million according to the latest figures.
Around 1,000 hectares of State owned forests administered by Coillte were destroyed by the fires that hit the counties of Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo, Longford, Cavan, Roscommon, Offaly, Louth, Westmeath, Clare, Galway and Mayo.
This caused around €5 million worth of damage as was reported earlier this month.
However, on top of this 600 hectares of privately owned forests were destroyed with fire losses of approximately €2.4 million according to figures seen by TheJournal.ie.
Foul-play is suspected to have been behind a number of the fires but gardaí say that the matter is still under investigation and that no one has been charged in connection with the incidents.
The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has urged all rural dwellers to co-operate with the forest service and authorities investigating the incident as they look to determine the source of the fires and identify the culprits.