At least 15 wildfires have been recorded across the country by the Irish Wildlife Trust since Friday 24 March.

The conservation body said the surge saw fire service crews battle blazes in counties Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Louth.

The fires coincided with a period of relatively warm, dry weather across the country.

Eight of the fires occurred in areas that are protected for nature conservation.

Residents were forced from their homes for a period due to one fire, which broke out in the south Galway area at the weekend.

Electricity was also cut to parts of south Connemara and the Aran Islands after the fire, which happened in the Casla-Ros a Mhíl area, damaged an ESB substation.

The IWT has called for greater coordination to clamp down on the fires, pointing out that it is illegal to set vegetation on fire between 1 March and 31 August.

An IWT spokesperson, Pádraic Fogarty, said: "It's devastating not only for the natural environment but for the people who live in these areas as their livelihoods and property are put at risk."