Fire service warns of heightened risk of gorse fires with current weather

Landowners should abstain from burning activities as the current warm, dry weather combined with easterly winds has created “tinderbox” conditions, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service says.

It says there is a heightened risk of gorse, forest and bog fires with the current weather conditions.

The fire service says that Clare firefighters responded to one of the largest wildfires of the year to date recently when two square kilometres of bog and gorse were scorched on Ben Dash, located between Lissycasey and Kilmaley.

It says that brigades were in attendance for nearly 11 hours at fires in the area.

It says that with forecasts suggesting a return to drier conditions early next week following some light rain this weekend, the risk posed by uncontrolled burning remains high.

H/T Clare Herald

Denis O’Connell, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said that there has been significant damage to forestry and land as a result of the recent fire. He also asked that people are vigilant and that they call the fire brigade if they see any uncontrolled fire.

“The highest risk period for quickly spreading fires occurs between March and June, when ground vegetation is dead and dry following the winter period. Fires have spread quickly this week due to the dry vegetation, low humidity and easterly winds which feed the fires.”

It is an offence under the Wildlife Act to burn growing vegetation between March 1 and August 31 in any year, on any land not then cultivated.

Clare Fire Service is advising landowner of the following:

  • Landowners burning gorse, scrub, or vegetation must inform the Fire Service at least one day in advance on 999 or 112 providing details of the location, time and duration of burning.
  • In addition, landowners burning within one mile of woodland must notify the local Garda station and woodland owner in writing at least seven days in advance.
  • Where burning is to take place within a Special Area of Conservation or Natural Heritage Area, written consent must be sought in advance from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
  • It is illegal to burn household or commercial/industrial waste, household green waste (e.g. hedging), electric cables for the recovery of copper, or to burn waste in bonfires.

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