Stronger Legislation Needed on Wildfires
Sinn Féin MLA Willie Clarke has welcomed the report on wild fires but called for stronger legislation in order to protect the environment.
Mr Clarke stated,
“I welcome the interdepartmental report into the wildfires that occurred during the dry spell last year. It is important that we get an agreed approach to this problem in order to prevent further events.
“The wildfires of last year caused untold damage to the environment and the cost to the Fire Service was £8 million while the cost to the Forestry Service was over £1 million. The wildfires also caused pollution to many waterways and rivers across the North.
“The vast majority of the fires that occurred last year were started deliberately and this must be addressed.
“I am calling on tougher legislation to be introduced in order to deter arsonists from starting wildfires so that we can protect our forests and natural grasslands and bog meadows.
“The only fortunate thing about the fires was that no one was killed and I would like to praise the Fire Service for their work in containing and extinguishing them.”