There has been more than a 50% increase in the number of gorse fires in Kerry during the first three months this year, compared to the same period in 2018.
That’s according to Kerry County Council’s Water, Environment, Fire and Library Services report.
The Kerry Fire Service attended 89 gorse fires between January and March of this year; that is up from 59 in 2018.
From January to March this year, the Kerry Fire Service was mobilised 342 times, up from 310 last year.
The number of gorse fires was up 30 compared to the same period last year.
The report says the figure has increased in recent years, due to more landowners now burning during the legal period up to the end of February.
It also adds that initiatives by the Kerry Interagency Wildfire Group has helped reduce the number of illegal gorse fires attended by the service, which has reduced from 650 in 2010 to 175 in 2018.
Call outs for chimney fires are down to 38 from 53 last year.
The service attended 31 road traffic collisions, which is the same number attended from January to March of last year.