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28 May 2022

Condition Orange Fire Alert in place for Ireland this week

Sligo County Council has issued a Condition Orange High Fire Risk warning

Teagasc is urging landowners and all involved in outdoor activity to exercise extreme caution and to heed the high level warning for fires in place this week.

The current high pressure dominated weather patterns has resulted in a high fire risk in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist. Based on recent fire activity, the current ignition risks appear to be strongly associated with burning of vegetation on areas used for turf cutting with additional upland burning also observed. Wildfires not only pose a serious risk to property and the rural environment, they also threaten lives directly in their path and by potentially diverting the resources of our emergency services.

Teagasc asks famers, landowners, rural dwellers and those using the countryside to be extremely vigilant in light of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Condition Orange Fire risk alert and reminds everyone that it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on uncultivated land between 1st March and 31st August. Fire Services and forestry teams around the country have already been called to tackle gorse and scrub fires during March.  

As is normal with a spell of good weather, many people will be outdoors enjoying the Irish countryside, from forest walks to hiking and camping activities. It is essential that everyone is alert to the dangers of fires, in particular adjacent to amenities, private property and forest resources. Teagasc also urges forest owners and forest managers to be vigilant regarding fire over the coming days, have appropriate measures in place to help prevent loss or damage through fire. These measures include having:

•            A risk assessment completed

•            Adequate insurance against fire risk

•            A current and accurate fire plan in place

•            Access routes clear

•            Fire breaks maintained along boundaries

•            Fire suppression resources at the ready

•            Co-operation with neighbours and fire patrols planned where required

Teagasc staff will continue to work with DAFM, the Fire Services and local interagency groups to support farmers and forest owners in regard to awareness of fire threats as well as providing training and advice in relation to mitigation of risks. The DAFM Forest Fire Danger Rating can be consulted at www.teagasc.ie/firerisk  on the forestry section of the Teagasc website. This index provides information on the fire risk and provides a forecast index the coming days. Working together we can help minimise the current serious threat from fires.

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