Major gorse fire sparked purchase of wildfire beaters

A community group has purchased a dozen wildfire beaters in a bid to prevent a repeat of a blaze that previously devastated the area.
Coiste Forbartha Dhún Lúiche sits at the foot of Errigal close to where in 2019 flames engulfed woodland putting lives and property at risk.
Following the incident plans to buy equipment capable of tackling gorse fires were discussed but it was not until May of this year when dramatic pictures emerged of fires ripping through the Mourne Mountains and Killarney National Park that the talks were resurrected.
Coiste Forbartha Dhún Lúiche committee member Dermot Gallagher said, “Two years ago we had a huge fire in the Annagry, Lower Rosses area and we said at that time it would not be a bad idea to buy these items just so we had some preparation in the event of a fire.
“That was in 2019 but with so much other work going on it didn’t happen. What brought it back to the fore this year was the fire in the Mournes and we decided to reactivate our initiative.”
Rather than wait for funding to become available, committee members instead decided to set up a GoFundMe page. Within the space of ten hours they had what they needed.
They then contacted Crana Engineering in Buncrana about getting the devices made. With a longer handle than a standard shovel, lighter in weight and with a rubber mat attached, the beaters are identical to those regularly used by Ireland’s firefighters.
Coiste Forbartha Dhún Lúiche has purchased 12 of the beaters and each one has been given a name after the mountains and locations that cloak the Gaeltacht area.
“We just want to make sure that in the event of an incident happening we have something to reach for and that people can use if need be.
“It’s a bit like an insurance policy, they are there but you hope you never have to use them,” Mr Gallagher added.

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