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Stanley calls for introduction of island-wide policy on the use of firebre

4 May, 2011 - by Brian Stanley TD

Speaking following the Bank Holiday weekend’s particularly bad spate of forest fires, Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson Brian Stanley TD, called on the government to work for the introduction of an island-wide policy on the use of firebreaks to tackle forest and gorse fires.
The Laois-Offaly TD said;
“At the beginning of April, there were some severe fires within my constituency and I called upon the Government to introduce the use of firebreaks in that area to prevent the spread of gorse and forest fires. Over the weekend there were some severe forest fires in Louth and elsewhere, however the fire service worked with the Civil Defence and Coillte to create firebreaks (cleared pathways soaked with water in forest areas) which successfully prevented the spread of fires.
“Using this method ensured that fire damage was minimal and that this approach is highly effective. I am now calling on the government introduce an island-wide policy on the use of firebreaks. Forest-fires do not stop at the border, so it is essential that there is all-Ireland co-operation between fire services to guarantee that our forest, bog and gorse areas are protected.
“The Working Group on Land and Forest Fires, established by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recommended that forest owners properly maintain firebreaks. It is now imperative that the Minister for the Environment acts upon this recommendation and introduces the regulations to make sure this happens.”

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