A major gorse fire caused extensive damage to bogland in the Drinagh area, just off the N5 between Scramogue and Tarmonbarry, on Saturday night as fire services battled for several hours to bring the blaze under control.
It’s not known what caused the fire but it is understood that it started at shortly after 5.30 pm and was eventually brought under control just after midnight on Saturday.
It’s understood the area is a blackspot for illegal dumping and that, along with dry gorse and mild weather, may have been a factor in the spread of the fire.
“The Curraghroe link road is a very busy road, and I must commend the local fire services for getting the fires under control. Thankfully, there were no reports of any injuries.
“While it is not clear how the fires started, I fear that the ongoing problem with illegal dumping in the Culliagh and Drinagh areas may have exacerbated the situation. If a bog fire starts in these areas, there is so much material dumped illegally that could be hazardous or volatile in a fire, such as aerosols, oil, batteries, milk cartons, ashes, etc., which leads to widespread damage – not only putting the natural environment under threat but also local residents and road users, so it has to be taken seriously.
“I am calling on Roscommon County Council to redouble its efforts to tackle this ongoing illegal dumping. I think the council should consider employing a private security firm to patrol or monitor these kind of blackspot areas,” he concluded.