‘Condition Orange’ fire risk warning issued

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a ‘Condition Orange – High Fire Risk ‘ warning for the country over the weekend.

Issued yesterday afternoon, Thursday, June 27, the warning will remain in effect until 12:00pm on Monday, July 1.

According to the department, arising from forecast high temperatures associated with high pressure weather patterns and recent southerly hot air flows, a high fire risk is deemed to exist in areas where hazardous fuels exist.

Meteorological risk is further compounded by moderate easterly wind speeds in excess of 20kph in some areas.

Fine Fuel Moisture codes are in excess of 80 at this point. Highest ignition risk is deemed to exist in public amenity areas adjacent to urban centres and on areas of open land at risk from illegal dumping and burning of wastes, the department warns.

Fire behaviour is likely to be mitigated by recent preceding rain, high live fuel moisture levels, particularly in upland grasses, and by more unsettled weather and light rainfall patterns emerging over the weekend in some areas.

Analysis indicates that the risk will peak today, Friday, June 28, according to the department.

Forest owners, farmers, rural dwellers and other countryside users are asked to be extremely vigilant regarding fire activity, to report any suspicious or illegal activity to the Gardaí and to report all fires immediately to the fire and emergency services via 112/999.

The department recommends that forest owners and managers should consider the fire mitigation measures that they can put in place to help prevent loss or damage to forest resources through fire.