5 steps to help prevent forest fires in your area

The Department of Agriculture has issued a Condition Orange warning for fires due to current dry conditions and high temperatures.

To help farmers and foresters safeguard against risks involved, Coillte has issued advice on how best to deal with such conditions.

Temperatures are due to remain in the mid-twenties for much of this week and the fire warning is to remain in place until 12:00pm on Thursday, June 28.

Coillte staff have been fighting a forest fire at Barnaslingan Wood for the past nine days, along with Dublin Fire Brigade.

Teams are working around the clock to keep the fire contained, but rain is needed to dampen the fire and cool off the embers in the ground.

With the orange weather warning in place, it is very likely that there will be more forest fires and Coillte asks people to remain vigilant and report any blazes they see to the local fire brigade.

Coillte recommends the following steps to prevent forest fires at this time:
  1. Do not light fires and be careful of all activity involving fires;
  2. Report any suspicious activity you may observe;
  3. Report any forest fires you see to the local fire brigade;
  4. Do not approach forest fires under any circumstance – they are extremely dangerous;
  5. Keep access points and forest entrances clear for emergency services.

Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forest sector.

They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk in their efforts to extinguish them.

They cause widespread ecological and environmental damage to wildlife and to habitats that can take years to recover from, especially at this time of the year when many birds and other animals are raising their young.

They also cost significant amounts of money to Coillte and private forest owners.

Such costs are incurred through: the expense of operations to control the blaze; the loss of the value of the standing timber; and the additional costs in managing and replanting the burnt areas.