Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Tuesday 26 September 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Eamonn Farrell/ File photo
# Ravenwood
Fire crews return to Co Wexford nature reserve after blaze that burned through two acres of forest
Fire crews were called twice to attend blazes in the forest last night.

LAST UPDATE | May 29th 2023, 5:16 PM

FIRE CREWS ARE in attendance at a third blaze in a Co Wexford nature reserve in the space of less than 24 hours. 

A fire tore through two acres of forest last night at the Raven Wood, located on the south-east coast near Curracloe Beach.

Wexford Fire Service said three units attended the scene, having received a call alerting it at 8:40pm. This fire was dealt with by 11:27pm.

Two crews were then required to call back to the area again at 03:54am this morning, with the fire put out shortly later. 

The nature reserve, which is owned by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, is a crucial haven for several species of birds in Ireland. 

The fire service said NPWS personnel were at the scene on each occasion and said it had informed gardaí of the incidents. 

The NPWS said it is too early to indicate the source of this fire or the full extent of area which was damaged.

The spokesperson added: “The fire was at the southern tip of the site, and thanks to the swift actions of emergency services the spread of fire into precious woodlands was avoided.

“Fortunately, the northerly wind also kept it from rampaging further inwards.”

However, fire crews are now in attendance at a separate fire in the Raven Wood and have been at the scene since 2.40pm this afternoon.

In a statement to The Journal, Wexford County Council Fire Service said this afternoon’s incident is “several acres in a different location” to the fire last night and in the early hours of this morning. 

The spokesperson added that gardaí have been called, as well as an additional unit from Enniscorthy.

The area is under a condition orange high fire risk, with the warning in place until 6pm this evening. 

In a further statement to The Journal following the most recent fire at Raven Wood, an NPWS spokesperson said: “Aerial surveillance and monitoring is ongoing over the Raven Wood Nature Reserve along with ongoing ground patrols.

“This afternoon, emergency services attended the area again, and are on site. Gardaí have been called and are investigating.”

Joint appeal

In a joint statement issued today, Ministers Darragh O’Brien and Malcolm Noonan people should avoid lighting fires or barbeques in public places, including national parks and nature reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks.

“This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk,” O’Brien and Noonan said.

They added that the NPWS has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has “ramped up aerial monitoring” with helicopters and drones. 

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, also asked for cooperation to protect nature.

“Be vigilant and report any fire activity. Whilst we have increased monitoring this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time,” O Donnchú said.

If anyone notices a fire, they are urged to call the emergency services on 112 immediately.

-With additional reporting from Diarmuid Pepper

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel