The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of fire station premises, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the Fire Services Act, 1981. My Department supports fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding support for equipment and priority infrastructural projects.
The prioritisation of work and effective management of all resources is, in the first instance, a matter for management in each of the fire services, based on their assessment of local needs and requirements. Under section 159 of the Local Government Act, 2001 it is the responsibility of each Chief Executive to employ such staff and to make such staffing, funding, recruitment and organisational arrangements as may be deemed necessary for the purposes of carrying out the functions of their local authority.
Detailed data on the costs incurred by local authorities fighting gorse and upland fires, is not collected by, and consequently is not available in, my Department. The requested information would be available from the individual local authorities.