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.
1. A large fire & very serious is burning in Killarney National Park. @npwsBioData staff & the Fire Brigade are currently on site dealing with the incident. We are asking members of the public to avoid areas of the Park listed below until further notice: pic.twitter.com/3DdDiL8wZj— Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage (@DeptHousingIRL) April 24, 2021
The department also said visibility in the area was poor and they were investigating the cause of the fire.
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.
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