Gorse fires cost over £500,000
Sinn Féin South Down MLA Willie Clarke has said that the real cost of Gorse Fires is far more than the half a million to the Fire Service as the damage to local habitats and wildlife could be long term.
Mr Clarke, after receiving a response from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, said:
"From November last year to the end of April this year there were some 2,450 gorse fires responded to by the Fire Service. The total cost was £503, 971 including approximately £300,000 of additional expenditure.
"This means that not only are these gorse fires costing a huge amount and taking away from other areas there is also a real concern that it will impact on the cover that the Fire Service is able to offer.
"There real cost of Gorse Fires is far more than the half a million to the Fire Service as the damage to local habitats and wildlife is unquantifiable and could have a long term impact on our countryside." ENDS