A fire on the farm of Cork central Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) chair Conor O’Leary on Thursday saw 20 bales of silage damaged. However, luckily no one was injured or harmed.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, O’Leary, who farms at Donoughmore, Co Cork, said his wife Rina noticed the blaze in their farmyard while she was feeding calves nearby and while he was about 30 minutes away, off-farm.

He said the fire started where there was some kindling, spread to adjacent pallets and then further spread to a pile of old tyres. However, the family doesn’t know how exactly the blaze started.

Emergency response

O’Leary described how firefighters from Mallow were called immediately and arrived within 30 minutes and that several neighbours also rushed to the scene to help control the blaze while he rushed home.

The neighbouring farmers used tractor loaders to push all flammable material into the one pile and create a gap around the fire to prevent further spread.

The Cork farmer said it was the lack of wind that allowed this, as the smoke went straight up and not in around the tractors.

He said the farmers moved some nearby bales of silage, but, unfortunately, the plastic was melted off about 20 of them. He said that while the bales are damaged, he hopes to feed them quickly to cattle near the yard.

‘Quick reaction’

The Cork central IFA chair said his biggest fear while rushing home was that the fire would spread to a nearby silage pit, which contains cuts from 80ac.

“The quick reaction by neighbours stemmed the possibility of it spreading. We are so thankful.

“We were lucky there was no wind to flame it,” said a relieved O’Leary.

Bandon fire

Separately, gardaí have confirmed to the Irish Farmers Journal that they and emergency services attended the scene of a fire that occurred on farmland in the Bandon area of Co Cork at approximately 1pm on Thursday.

Videos and photos of the fire were posted on social media, including by passengers on a Ryanair flight passing overhead.

Gardaí say no injuries from the fire were reported and no offences were disclosed.

Farmers and all members of the public are reminded to take fire precautions during the current heatwave conditions. For further information, see here.

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