The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is appealing to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility by not lighting fires or barbecues in public places this summer.
The NPWS, which is under the umbrella of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has increased ground crews on fire patrol and ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.
The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien advised: “If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out.”
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan added that Ireland’s national parks and nature reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places to enjoy spending time in nature.
“They are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is an important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”
NPWS Director General Niall O Donnchú has also asked for everyone’s co-operation to protect nature. “NPWS has increased ground crews and is monitoring from the air, but we still need the public’s help to protect nature at this high-risk time. We ask members of the public not to light fires or barbecues in any national parks or nature reserves, or in the great outdoors. We also ask that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”