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31/07/2021

Status Orange: High Forest Fire Risk Warning

'High risk' forest fire warning issued amid warm weather forecast

'High risk' forest fire warning issued amid warm weather forecast

Teagasc is urging all involved in outdoor activity to exercise extreme caution and to heed the high level warning for fires in place for the coming week. Due to current dry weather patterns and high temperature, 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. This risk phase is expected to peak by next Friday, 23 July, 2021.

High outdoor visitor activity levels can be expected in line with the fine weather and the normal pattern of summer holiday usage. Members of the public intending to visit forests and other recreational sites are reminded to adhere to regulations introduced to limit the spread of Covid-19. Vehicles must not be parked at site entrances or impede emergency service access to forest roads. Forest visitors should not use barbeques, or open fires at any stage. Wildfires not only pose a serious risk to property and the rural environment, they also threaten lives directly in their path and may potentially divert the resources of our emergency services.

Teagasc asks famers, land owners, 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 1 March and 31 August. Teagasc also urges forest owners and forest managers to remain vigilant over the coming days and to 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 the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (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 for the coming days. Working together we can help minimise the current threat from fires.

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