CHRISTINE whipped up a storm in Clare ,leaving the local fire service with a €60,000 headache as a result of weather related call-outs.
Storm related incidents accounted for almost two thirds of all incidents attended by the Clare Fire Service between December 20 and January 3. Seventy of the 115 incidents involved falling trees when the county was battered by ‘Storm Christine’.
Meanwhile, non-weather related callouts (45) were down across the county for a fourth successive year. The call-out figures for the period were less than those recorded during the corresponding periods in 2010, 2011 and 2012 when the fire service was mobilised to 81, 64 and 48 incidents respectively.
Six of the call-outs related to house fires with a further six call-outs involving chimney fires while fire-fighters also attended 14 road-based incidents, four agricultural building fires, three storage building fires and five false alarms.
Emergency call-outs during the Christmas period, including to storm-related incidents, were attended by Ennis Fire Brigade (61) followed by Shannon (23), Ennistymon (11), Scarriff (10), Killaloe (5), Kilrush (4) and Kilkee (1).
“This was one of the busiest periods experienced by Clare County Fire & Rescue Service since the serious flooding which affected Clare in November 2009,” admitted Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer.
“The extremely windy conditions late on St. Stephen’s Day and in the early hours of December 27 brought down a lot of trees throughout the county leading to some roads being blocked. Furthermore, other roads were impassable for a time due to flooding brought about by heavy rain.
“Due to the assistance of members of the public, together with staff from Clare Local Authorities, we were able to deal quickly with these incidents so as to ensure any disruption was minimised,” he added.
Mr. Kelly noted that the mild conditions over the Christmas period had contributed to the lower number of call-outs to fire-related incidents.