Be wary of wind during burning – Dublin Fire Brigade

An official in the Dublin Fire Brigade has said that farmers are generally carrying out controlled burnings in a safe manner, but that the wind factor should always be kept in mind.

Darren O’Connor, sub-officer with Dublin Fire Brigade, was speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland today (February 27) when he said that officers from a number of fire stations had been recently tackling gorse fires in the Dublin mountains, along the borders of Wicklow and Kildare.

“Some of the fires we’re receiving calls for are controlled burnings,” he explained.

They are very well controlled by farmers. The ideal conditions have been met for controlled burnings over the last week or so because there has been no wind.

However, O’Connor added that wind is always a factor to be weary of.

“If you do a controlled burning, the embers can be carried across and cause spot fires,” he explained.

O’Connor said that it was possible this was the cause of some of the fires, but pointed out that some of the fires occurred in or near public areas rather than agricultural land.

Some of them [the fires] we have been getting along walking paths and so on.

The other big factor, he said, was the dryness of vegetation, which is much more likely to catch fire in these types of whether conditions.

“It’s just the dryness of the fuel. It has been exceptionally dry over the past week,” explained O’Connor.

He said that when a wetter spell of whether arrives, it should reduce the risk of gorse fires.

“If we do get a spell of rain, that will bring the moisture content of the fuel back up, which becomes quite flammable once it dries out,” said O’Connor.

He highlighted that February 28 (tomorrow) is the last day for controlled, legal burning on agricultural land.