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Killarney fire: Irish Farmers’ Association says those responsible should face severe legal consequences

KERRY: The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has said that anyone responsible for the spread of the fire in parts of Killarney National Park should face severe legal action.

It was reported that about one-third of National Park has been destroyed by fire. The fire was noticed on Friday night and was brought under control by Monday afternoon thanks to the efforts of the Air Corps, volunteers, and officials from various government agencies.

Earlier this week, Killarney’s Chief Fire Officer Andrew Macilwraith said that determining the cause of the fire was extremely difficult, and that up to 2,000 hectares (up to 50% of the park’s terrestrial area) of national park land had been destroyed or potentially destroyed. He said the fire may have spread from “something as small as somebody had a small barbeque or a small fire”.

However, the National Parks and Wildlife Service is engaging with An Garda Sochána to investigate the cause of the fires.

Farmers are legally prohibited from burning land in a controlled manner between the 1st of March and the 31st of August of each year. The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) said anyone responsible for lighting fires “should face the full rigours of the law”.

The IFA said the Killarney fire shows the risks of fire spreading during a prolonged dry patch of weather and has urged to everyone, including farmers and recreational users, to be extremely vigilant. “IFA looks forward to being involved in any future discussions on land management with all stakeholders, to avoid an incident happening in the future,” the association said.

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