Louth senator calls for nationwide forest management plan in wake of recent wildfires

Michelle O'Keeffe

Reporter:

Michelle O'Keeffe

Email:

michelle.okeeffe@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Louth senator calls for nationwide forest management plan in wake of recent wildfires

Fire in Cooley mountains last year

Louth Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan is calling for a nationwide uplands and forest management plan.

The Senator has written to Minister of States Malcolm Byrne and Pippa Hackett outlining her concerns in wake of the recent wildfires in Killarney and the Mourne Mountains.   

Senator McGreehan commented: “I am deeply concerned by the destruction and devastation to biodiversity and natural beauty of the areas that have been under fire over the past number of days.  

“I wish to commend those involved in putting out these wildfires, 2,000 hectares have been burned in Killarney.

"It is incredible and we must look to what we can do to prevent this in the future.  

“We need to make these landscapes less vulnerable to wildfires by having an adequate uplands and forest management plan.

"The plan needs to be nationwide and funded adequately.”  

The Louth Senator highlighted that invasive plants like bracken spread rapidly.

She noted how this invasive species can be very brittle and dry; therefore, it can catch fire quickly.

Its’ invasive growth can do a lot of damage to the native and precious biodiversity.  

Senator McGreehan continued: “I have written to Ministers of State, Malcolm Noonan and Pippa Hackett, who I believe have responsibility for this area, to ask what measures are going to be put in place to carefully bring the areas burned back to health and what measures are going to be put in place to prevent this happening in the future.  

“Locally in Louth we see the devastation that wildfires cause.

"Last year the destruction that happened on the Cooley Peninsula was incredible.

"It occurred because of a campfire that got out of control and homes had to be evacuated, this is unacceptable.”