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Dublin: 13°C Tuesday 19 October 2021

Blaze threatened Killarney National Park as wildfires spread across Kerry

It is understood some of the fires are being investigated by gardaí.

Smoke plume from a string of fires along the southern side of the Iveragh Peninsula at sunset tonight.
Smoke plume from a string of fires along the southern side of the Iveragh Peninsula at sunset tonight.
Image: Geoff Hamilton

FIRE SERVICES IN Kerry battled more than two dozen wildfires across the county yesterday, including some that threatened Killarney National Park.

Several are believed to have been caused by gorse fires, which spread to due to high temperatures, strong winds, and dry conditions yesterday, although the exact cause is not yet known.

Setting gorse fires is banned between March and August.

A statement from Kerry Fire and Rescue Service said the first call-out for firefighters was at 2.30pm, with the final units back at base by 3.30am this morning, fighting at total of 26 fires.

“All the units of Kerry Fire and Rescue Service were committed at one time or another,” it read.

It is understood that Gardai are investigating the circumstances and possible causes of some of the later incidents, especially in the Mangerton uplands area and in the Killarney National park.

The fire service is calling on land and commonage owners to exercise extreme caution with fire, and to never engage in burning without notifying authorities first:

Human lives can easily be put at unintended risk. Changing weather can play a major and un-controllable role with wild-land fire spread.

wildfire Source: Cahersiveen in Co Kerry

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1′s News at One, fire officer Mick Flynn said individual homes were at risk from the most significant wildfire at Mangerton Mountain, which burned along the border of Killarney National Park.

“If it got into the park, we don’t know where we could actually stop it,” he explained, noting that 1000-year-old oak forests could have been lost.

A garda spokesperson  said this morning that gardaí in Killarney assisted the Fire Service in traffic diversions, but no complaints have been received following the fires.

Read: Two people rescued after fire engulfs kitchen >

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Nicky Ryan

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