August 3, 2021

Satellite images reveal extent of devastating forest fires blazing through Wicklow Mountains

Satellite images have been released showing the extent of the devastating forest fires blazing through the Wicklow Mountains.

The images of the wildfires have that destroyed a huge amount of vegetation were taken by the European Space Agency.

Referring to the images, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan, said: “There is an Orange Fire Alert in place until the 20th of April and these images convey graphically the scale of destruction, devastation and loss of plant and animal life wrought by illegal wildfires.”

National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) staff in Wicklow worked with the Fire Service, battling several separate blazes in recent days.

There have been five significant fires in the region since Good Friday. One of the fires burned over several days last week and the emergency response thus far has involved Fire Service, NPWS and helicopter support to battle them.

Based on the initial analysis, all five fires would appear to be agricultural in nature.

Minister Madigan said NPWS officials are preparing cross-compliance reports for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

She stressed that to needlessly tie up the State’s resources during the pandemic in this way is both “reckless and irresponsible”.

The minister also noted that, as custodians of nature, the vast majority of farmers and landowners respect the law on burning, and are sensitive to our natural heritage. The Minister wants to encourage others to follow their example.

PHOTO: Courtesy of European Space Agency 


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