Department issues Orange forest fire alert

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued an Orange forest fire alert warning for much of the country for the coming days.

Issued earlier today, Thursday, April 18, from 12:00pm, the warning will be in effect until at least 12:00pm on Tuesday, April 23.

Arising from easterly high-pressure conditions and forecast high temperatures, a ‘High Fire Risk’ exists on all areas where hazardous fuels such as gorse, heather, dried grasses and other dead vegetation exist.

In some areas, fire risk condition may be moderated temporarily by scattered light rain during the time-frame of this notice, according to the department.

The projected meteorological fire risk is likely to be further compounded by additional ignition risks arising from the forthcoming Easter bank holiday weekend.

Most recent fire incidents appear to have taken place on lands associated with turf cutting, but additional risks may also exist on areas commonly used for public recreation, the department warns.

On this basis, the highest degree of vigilance is warranted by forest owners and managers during the long weekend. Fire risk is expected to peak significantly on Monday, 22 April, 2019.

In a statement on the matter on social media, Limerick Fire and Rescue warned: “Please exercise caution with cigarettes, barbecues and other sources of ignition over the coming days in wild land areas.

“If you see a fire, contact your local Fire Brigade immediately on: 999/112.”