A Condition Red Forest Fire Danger Rating has been issued for Leitrim and surrounding counties and is valid until midday on May 7.
A 'Type A' high pressure weather system combined with Fine Fuel Moisture Code levels above 85 as well as the expectation that wind speeds are likely to exceed the critical 30kmh threshold in most areas over the next 48 hours, have all led to an increased fire risk.
This type of pattern has previously been associated with extreme fire behaviour and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said that looking at recent fire incidents, most appear to be associated with deliberately lit fires on areas where turf cutting or illegal waste dumping is taking place.
Members of the public intending to visit forests and other recreational sites are reminded of the requirement to remain within 5km of their homes and to adhere to regulations introduced to limit the spread of Covid-19. Vehicles should not be parked at site entrances or impede emergency service access to forest roads.
This risk condition is currently forecast to peak between today, Tuesday 05/05/2020 and Thursday 07/05/2020.
Pending further review, this risk condition will remain in place until midday on Thursday, May 7, 2020 and will revert to Condition Yellow at this point.