Watch: 'High risk' forest fire warning issued as emergency services battle massive blaze in Killarney National Park

Watch: 'High risk' forest fire warning issued as emergency services battle massive blaze in Killarney National Park

A Government status orange ‘high risk’ warning has been issued regarding forest fires.

A Government status orange ‘high risk’ warning has been issued regarding forest fires, with emergency services battling a huge fire which has broken out in Killarney National Park. 

Another fire burning in the Mourne Mountains has been declared a 'major incident'. 

In Killarney, the state has asked people to avoid the following areas: Gortderraree, Derrycunnihy, Gallavally, Cahernaduv, Gearhameen, Doogary, Eagles nest & The Five mile. 

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage also said if travelling on the N71 to exercise caution as emergency services vehicles are on-site which may lead to some traffic congestion in the five-mile bridge area.

The department also said visibility in the area was poor and they were investigating the cause of the fire.

Earlier: The orange high risk forest fire warning is in place until Monday, April 26. People are being asked to avoid all outdoor fires and open ignition sources and landowners are urged to obey restrictions in relation to land burning.

The warning which came from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine, follows recent fire activity.

The department said the ignition risks appear to be focussed on areas with public access, particularly active turf cutting and peatland sites.

The warning said that the relaxation of some Covid-19 requirements mean that members of the public can now travel within their respective counties and higher visitor activity levels at recreational sites can be expected in line with fine weather.

“Members of the public intending to visit forests and other recreational sites are reminded to adhere to regulations introduced to limit the spread of Covid, park legally and also forest visitors should not use barbeques or open fires at any stage.” 

Coillte has advised that all outdoor use of fires, barbeques and other open ignition sources be avoided on forest lands and in other high-risk areas until further notice.

Landowners are also reminded that under the Wildlife Act, it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on uncultivated land between 1st March and 31st August. Persons engaged in such illegal activity are liable to prosecution and could face fines, imprisonment and penalties to their farm payments.

For more information, please visit www.coillte.ie or for regular updates follow Coillte on Twitter @coilltenews

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