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HSE issue public health statement following gorse fires in Donegal

11 May 2017

"For me, you won't have this under control until at least the weekend", he said.

"Under the Wildlife Act, it is illegal to set fires to growing vegetation from 1st March to 31st August and those found responsible for deliberately starting fires can be prosecuted".

Coillte has a comprehensive fire and emergency plan in operation for every forest, which includes the construction of fire breaks, operation of fire patrols, communication with fire brigade services and provision of specialised equipment in high risk areas.

Recently-installed air monitoring devices deployed in the city revealed last evening that a level FIVE times the normal rate of air pollution was exceeded on Tuesday evening when the city was engulfed in clouds of smoke from the devastating wildfire at Cloosh Valley in Connemara.

She told RTÉ that the event was recorded on a monitoring network.

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Avoid smoking When in a auto, keep the windows and vents closed.

Dr Coleman said the World Health Organisation had determined that 25 microgrammes of particles per metre cubed is the safest level of air quality.

Ireland's Air Corps, the Army and the country's national forestry agency Coillte spent much of Wednesday dousing the Cloosh Valley with thousands of litres of water but say it still could be days before the fire is fully extinguished.

It says staff and army personnel will remain on site today to monitor hot spots as there is still some risk that fires could re-ignite.

These forest fires have also threatened the welfare of many homes and local communities, as well as causing devastation to vast areas of wildlife habitat.

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It is hoped conditions will improve this evening as temperatures drop.

Donegal Fire Service said it had responded to 51 wild fires over the last five days, but there were now none burning in the county.

Superintendent Emma Bond said that since Monday 1st May there have been nearly 250 fires across the country, with the majority, they believe, having been set deliberately.

Mr Creed told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that under the current controlled burning regulations a farmer has to alert the authorities of any planned fires, so they would then be on hand to ensure the blaze did not spread.

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HSE issue public health statement following gorse fires in Donegal