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barryd
2011-05-04 09:30:10
Fires - who is setting them?
As we all know there's a lot of hill & bog fires around the country at present. But who is starting these fires? I guess it's hard to find out in each case but I note a propensity in the media to blame hooligans maliciously setting fires, as a laugh. I'd sound a note of caution though before we accept this scenario.
I'd agree that there are locations near major centres of population that get fired regularly due to vandalism - e.g. Bray Head. But I can't see these vandals driving miles to distant parts of rural Ireland to start fires. It's like rubbish dumping in rural areas - it's mostly a minority of locals, sadly. In my experience it has to be said that many fires are started deliberately by farmers and landowners as part of a land management process - to promote grass growth usually. Sometimes these get out of hand. There must also be some accidental fires but I'd suspect these are a tiny minority.
We have to be careful here, given the parlous state of public access to the countryside in this country. I'm not too ready to accept the vandal argument in remote areas without proof and I don't want to hear the IFA etc in the future arguing for less public access on the basis of threat of fires and vandalism.
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