Additional patrols and the deployment of specialist thermal monitoring equipment are among the measures introduced to help protect Killarney National Park from fires.
The Kerry Fire Service is actively working with park management to advise on the Killarney National Park Fire Plan, which has been developed by the NPWS.
Other measures have also been put in place to try to prevent the fires from starting.
In April 2021, between 2,500 and 3,000 hectares of Killarney National Park were burned in wildfires; which represents 50% of the land area of the park.
Additional ground patrols by National Parks and Wildlife Service rangers are underway and static and mobile surveillance equipment has been deployed in Killarney National Park.
Signs have also been erected saying ‘no fires, no barbecues’ – while others warn that surveillance equipment is in use.
Specialized thermal monitoring equipment was provided to NPWS guards and staff, along with the retention by the NPWS of a ‘first call’ helicopter with aerial firefighting capability to fight any fires immediately after. its detection.
The NPWS has also commissioned a major scientific study into the impacts of the fire in Killarney National Park, which it hopes will address future fire mitigation measures.
Details were provided at Kerry County Council’s monthly meeting, following a motion by Fine Gael Councilor Patrick O’Connor Scarteen.
The council says all authorities and influencers also have a role to play in communicating, advocating and influencing the public to protect Killarney National Park from fires.