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Dublin: 2 °C Tuesday 19 November, 2019

Nasa has taken an aerial photo of Ireland's gorse fires as public warned of health risks

There have been more than 100 serious gorse and forest fires in recent weeks.

nasa Actively burning areas are outlined in red Source: Nasa

Updated 9.49pm

NASA HAS TAKEN an aerial image showing where gorse fires are burning across Ireland.

Fires have been burning in several locations in recent weeks, including a huge blaze that has destroyed a third of Ireland’s largest forest at Cloosh Valley in Galway.

Today, the HSE issued a health warning advising people to avoid spending long amounts of times outdoors near affected areas.

Furthermore, a significant gorse fire on Achill Island in Mayo was brought under control this evening.

north Source: Nasa

mid Source: Nasa

There have been more than 100 serious gorse and forest fires in recent weeks. Coillte has warned that thousands of acres of forest, moorland and wildlife are at major risk.

The organisation said the recent dry weather has greatly increased the risk of gorse and forestry fire, but deliberate fire-starting has also been a significant factor in the cause of many of the fires.


“The recent spate of fires has been responsible for the worst damage to Coillte’s estate since 2011.

“The combined loss of productive timber, together with the cost of replanting the affected areas will result in a multi-million euro bill,” Coillte’s managing director Gerard Murphy said.

A Mayo family lost their home after their thatched roof caught alight from a nearby blaze on Friday evening. Meanwhile, the majority of the fires in Dublin have occurred on Howth Head and the Dublin mountains.

The HSE is urging a number of precautions be taken in areas affected by smoke or ash. They recommend:

  • Stay indoors as much as possible with windows and doors closed.
  • Avoid vigorous activity especially outdoors as one usually breathes faster and often through one’s mouth when exercising.
  • Don’t burn anything, including wood, gas and even candles.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • When in a car, keep the windows and vents closed. If turning on the air-conditioning, please use the “re-circulate” air option.
  • If asthmatic, keep your treatment inhaler with you.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin, Sean Murray

Read: Over a third of Ireland’s largest forest has been destroyed by gorse fire

Read: Thousands of acres of Irish forest at ‘major risk of destruction’

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Órla Ryan

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