Connect with us

News

Killarney men experience one of California’s worst fires

Published

on

E

EXCLUSIVE

By Michelle Crean

As one of the largest blazes in California's history rages on, two Killarney locals tell the Killarney Advertiser this week just how bad the situation is.

 

[caption id="attachment_33918" align="alignleft" width="239"] DEVASTATING: Kieran Guerin says the fires are so devastating that he has witnessed a friend lose his house.[/caption]

Kieran Guerin from Gortroe moved to San Francisco in 2003 and then on to Napa in 2011, and says the fires are so devastating that he has witnessed a friend lose his house.

Tony Lynch, originally from Countess Grove, lives about an hour's drive from the worst affected areas but says that they are not immune to its affects as heavy smoke is continuously in the air.

The fires are so dangerous that smoke has even travelled 5,000 miles to Europe and experts say California is experiencing its worst fire year since the Great Fire of 1910 tore through more than three million acres.

It first ignited on September 4 burning through 286,519 acres to date, destroying one hundred structures with another 6,723 under threat. Authorities say that only 32 percent of the fire is contained so far.

"This year's fires steadily grew and honestly most of them are still going with over 18,000 firemen battling the blaze now," Kieran said. "So far 15 people have died. This one is still about 25 miles north of me but the one three years ago was no more than a quarter mile from my house with the wind fanning the blaze right towards where we live. As we speak there is zero chance of rain, so we have at least six more weeks of fire season ahead of us, while all the time hoping that it doesn't come back our way."

He explained one experience that he'll never forget.

"About a month ago my girlfriend went from voluntary evacuation to mandatory so had to drive alongside the freeway watching the fires burning either side as we drove her and her animals south and away from the fires. Packing up a house and picking what is essential to take and leave is not an easy thing to do. How do you decide what is and isn't important in a situation where your life may be in danger? It really comes down to what you can fit in your car and get the hell out before it's too late. This I know only too well because a friend who lost his house got out yet a neighbour of his refused the firemen's orders to evacuate yet the wind changed direction and burnt everything on the other side of the road from his house leaving his dwelling untouched and scorch marks all the way up to his door. Also my neighbour was out at our friend’s winery as they tried to save as much as they could yet the fires burnt it to the ground after they had gotten out."

Just last week the skies were almost pitch black at midday which was "quite freaky", he added.

"When it subsided, it turned to a dark orange sky which was like the apocalypse we've all seen in every doomsday movie ever made. Ironically, Hollywood got this one correct. As my late mom Teresa's saying goes "go mbeirimíd beo ar an am seo arís"."

[caption id="attachment_33920" align="alignleft" width="257"] Tony Lynch from Countess Grove[/caption]

For Tony Lynch, originally from Countess Grove who lives and works as a teacher in CA, say they too are suffering very poor air quality.

“We would wake up in the morning to a car covered in ash and could smell the burning as if there was a camp fire nearby, but the nearest fires were at least an hour’s drive away. Many people experienced breathing issues due to the smoke and with COVID being a respiratory virus, it made some even more anxious.”

 

Continue Reading
Advertisement

News

County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

Published

on

0212683_shutterstock1835613118.jpg

By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

Attachments

Continue Reading

News

Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

Published

on

0212695_0212741IMG3776_1.jpg

By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

Attachments

Continue Reading

LOCAL ADS

Last News

Advertisement

Sport

Trending