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Sun-fun at Fountainstown beach, Co Cork as temperatures topped 30 degrees celcius.Pic; Larry Cummins.
Sun-fun at Fountainstown beach, Co Cork as temperatures topped 30 degrees celcius.Pic; Larry Cummins.
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Cork on red alert as warnings over fires and water levels issued

MEDITERRANEAN conditions look set to continue in Cork for the coming days, but with warnings.

While people are basking in the sun, the record-breaking heatwave has also brought wildfires and water shortages to parts of Cork. 

Cork City Fire Brigade battling gorse fires in the midst of the current heatwave. The city crew were alerted to 21 different calls in just 14 hours yesterday with fears that the dry spells could spark even more incidents. Pic: Cork City Fire Brigade on Twitter.
Cork City Fire Brigade battling gorse fires in the midst of the current heatwave. The city crew were alerted to 21 different calls in just 14 hours yesterday with fears that the dry spells could spark even more incidents. Pic: Cork City Fire Brigade on Twitter.
City and county firefighters were battling blazes throughout Cork last night, with gorse and brush fires erupting in dry conditions. City units were alerted to a blaze in a cornfield off the Old Mallow Road yesterday afternoon, with another incident reported at Tinker’s Cross around the same time. 

Later in the evening, six units from the county brigade stemmed a brush fire in Marlogue Woods, east of Cobh.

In all, city crews were alerted to 21 separate calls in just 14 hours last night.

The Department of Agriculture has issued a red-alert warning of further forest fires. 

Geraldine Hartnell pouring water from the water tanker provided by Cork County Council, for her neighbours Justine Cromhaught, Josephine O'Driscoll and Charleen Bekker in Ballyhooly, Co CorkPic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Geraldine Hartnell pouring water from the water tanker provided by Cork County Council, for her neighbours Justine Cromhaught, Josephine O'Driscoll and Charleen Bekker in Ballyhooly, Co Cork
Pic Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
There are water shortages in many parts of Cork, too, with some areas reliant on tankers for supply. Irish Water and Cork County Council are monitoring supplies, amid fears that Dublin’s hosepipe ban may have to be replicated in Cork.

Cork County Council warned yesterday there would be no water at times in Kilberihert, Liscarroll and parts of Freemount and residents of Nohoval and Clonakilty have been asked to conserve water where at all possible, as the supply is dwindling.

Irish Water is appealing to people across Cork to take whatever small measures they can to reduce their water usage.

“As the warm weather continues, the demands on water supplies is outstripping the supply in several areas around the country,” it said in a statement.

The warning comes as a hosepipe ban is introduced in Dublin, with the utility provider monitoring more than 100 ‘at risk’ sites nationally.

“Irish Water is working with local authorities to do everything possible to conserve water available. This requires that non-essential uses are stopped while the crisis lasts and we are drafting Drought Orders to ban such uses for schemes in crisis," a statement from Irish Water said.

It said every effort made by the public at home or at work will help and added: “We have a long way to go. If the drought is prolonged, water restrictions will become unavoidable if demand does not drop towards normal levels.”

Friends Ellen Murphy and Faye O'Connell from Carrigaline.Pic; Larry Cummins.
Friends Ellen Murphy and Faye O'Connell from Carrigaline.
Pic; Larry Cummins.
Current forecasts anticipate that warm conditions are set to continue in the coming days. Temperatures in Cork on Saturday afternoon and Sunday will be slightly lower than in recent days but still very warm, reaching 26 to 28 degrees in places.

There is the risk of an odd shower on Saturday and on Sunday the showers could become heavy at times.

The pollen count and UV index remain very high over the weekend and it looks like the warm weather is set to continue well into next week.