Orange forest fire warning in place, people urged to exercise ‘extreme caution’

Orange forest fire warning in place, people urged to exercise ‘extreme caution’

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine issued an orange forest fire warning.

People involved in outdoor activity this weekend are being urged to exercise extreme caution.

The warning from Teagasc comes after the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine issued an orange forest fire warning.

The warning will remain in effect until 12 noon on Monday.

Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority, said the current high pressure dominated weather patterns have resulted in high fire risk in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist.

It is urging all involved in outdoor activity to exercise extreme caution and to heed the high-level warning for fires that will remain in place over the weekend.

In a statement, Teagasc said it is urging farmers, landowners, rural dwellers and those using the countryside to be extremely vigilant in light of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Condition Orange Fire risk alert, and reminds everyone that it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on uncultivated land between 1st March and 31st August.

It added; “The relaxation of some Covid-19 requirements mean that members of the public can now travel within their respective counties. Coupled with a spell of good weather, many people will be outdoors enjoying the Irish countryside, from forest walks to hiking and camping activities. It is essential that everyone is alert to the danger of fires, in particular adjacent to amenities, private property and forest resources.” 

John Casey, Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, said: “Based on recent fire activity, ignition risks appear to be mainly focussed on areas with public access, particularly peatland sites. Wildfires not only pose a serious risk to property and the rural environment, they also threaten lives directly in their path and by potentially diverting the resources of our emergency services.”

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