Sinn Féin Councillor Colly Kelly commenting on a number of gorse fires in the Derry area in recent days including one on Southway between Creggan and the Brandywell on Friday night .
“Apart from being a risk to life, property and the wider environment, these fires are also tying up resources of the Fire and Rescue Services that could be needed elsewhere in an emergency.
“Gorse fires can prove to be a serious problem and while some of these fires are started accidentally, the majority are believed to be started deliberately.
“Accidental fires in the countryside can be started through discarded rubbish or carelessness when disposing of items like barbecue coals or cigarette ends that have not fully cooled.
“I would encourage people to be extra careful and ensure that they take everything home that they bring out into the countryside. And also appeal to people not to attempt to tackle gorse fires on their own but to ring the emergency services straight away.
“I would particularly emphasise the danger to young people not to be tempted to set fires as this could lead to a tragedy and could devastate the wider community.”