Department issues Condition Orange fire warning

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a Condition Orange – High Fire Risk warning for recent gorse fire incidents.

The warning came into effect at 12:00pm yesterday, Tuesday, March 31, and will expire at 12:00pm on Friday, April 3.

“Arising from current dry and sunny conditions associated with an Atlantic high pressure system, a high fire risk is deemed to exist in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist,” the department said in the warning.

Based on recent fire incidents, most ignitions’ risks appear to be associated with illegal burning of upland vegetation.

Fire behaviour is likely to be influenced by increased fuel dessication during preceding days and moderate northerly and north easterly wind speeds, and increased caution is required during suppression operations, the department added.

The warning comes following a number of gorse fires around the country with firefighters forced to battle blazes in counties Cork, Dublin, Wicklow and Kerry.

150ac of land burnt in Kerry

Approximately 150ac of land was damaged following an extensive gorse fire in Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry, on Sunday, March 29.

In a statement, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said it has been battling a fire in the Dinis region of Killarney National Park with support from two units of Kenmare and Killarney fire services and Kerry County Council.

The service added: “It is believed that approximately 150ac has been damaged.

“Aside from diverting emergency services, it is illegal to burn land at this time and those that do face penalties.”