Coillte renews warning as fires rage through countryside

Coillte has renewed its appeals to the public to be extra vigilant towards the dangers of wildfires as the dry weather is forecast to continue into next week.

The public is asked to be mindful that responsible behaviour, including acting safely and responsibly in rural environments, can significantly reduce the chance of wildfires starting.

As of today (Thursday, July 5) Coillte is fighting a number of fires nationwide, the firm has announced.

These include:
  • Slieve Bloom Mountains, where a large area has been burned after a fire spread into a forest area from an open moorland;
  • A significant fire in Kildalkey in Co. Meath;
  • Fires in the Dublin Mountains.

Regarding the Slieve Bloom fire, Coillte warns that it is a significant blaze that is dangerous and difficult to fight.

Along with a Coillte helicopter, the Air Corps is now also assisting Coillte, alongside the Laois County Fire Service and members of the Defence Forces.

Also Read: Video: Extensive forest fire rips through midlands mountains

Coillte has also urged people to report any suspicious activity regarding the setting of fires to the local Garda Siochana.

The state-owned company recommends five key steps to prevent forest fires at this time.

These include:
  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 your 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.

Coillte has a comprehensive fire and emergency plan in operation for every forest, which includes the construction of fire breaks, operation of fire patrols, communication with fire brigade services and provision of specialised equipment in high risk areas, the company has confirmed.