Deliberate burning of rubbish causes bog fire near Portlaoise

Prompt action of Laois Fire & Rescue service prevents widespread blaze

Express Reporter

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Illegal dumping  causes bog fire near Portlaoise

Illegal dumping causes bog fire.

The deliberate burning of illegal dumped rubbish is strongly suspected to be the cause of fire near Portlaoise that had the potential to last for days, according to the Laois Fire and Rescue Service.

The fire service has confirmed that it has contained the fire at Togher bog near Portlaoise which it belived was sparked by the deliberate lighting of a fire on open bogland covered in dry vegetation.

The service suspect the blaze was caused by somone who dumped a load of rubbish and then set alight this afternoon, Thursday, May 4. They have reported incident to Gardaí for investigation.

A number of fire services vehicles were called to the scene this afternoon. As a result of the dry weather conditions the fire spread quickly to the surrounding area but the quick response of the fire service ensured it did not spread.

Anthony Tynan of the Laois Fire and Rescue Service said there have been many instances of rubbish fires but he warned that any fires at present have the potential to spread because of the windy and dry weather conditions.

Because of where the rubbish was dumped, Mr Tyan said the fire had the potential to spread into areas of bog which if ignited had the potential to last for days and be very difficult and costly to extinguish.

He urged everybody to be cautious in current weather conditions when it comes to lighting any type of fire outdoors.

A ‘Condition Red Extreme Fire Risk Warning' has also been issued by the Department of Agriculture, warning people about the dangers of fires on bogs and land.

The warning is in effect until next Sunday.

"Under extreme Fire Risk Conditions any ignition source in hazardous fuels will give rise to rapid and unpredictable wildfire development and spread. Under these conditions, in upland situations fire can be expected to cover extensive areas and pose extreme difficulties to suppression efforts and may potentially likely give rise to Major Emergency scenarios," the warning stated.