The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a condition orange high fire risk warning.
The warning is effective from 12 pm today (April 1st, 2021) until 12 pm on April 6th, 2021.
Arising from weather patterns and expected level of risk during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, a high risk is deemed to exist in all areas where hazardous fuels, such as dead grasses and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist.
In a statement regarding the orange fire warning, a DAFM spokesperson said:
“While fair weather is forecast over coming days, an increase in fire risk can be expected ahead of forecast rain fronts over the long weekend. This risk will peak on Sunday, April 4th.”
“Current ignition risks appear to be mainly associated with illegal burning of waste in high risk areas with public access. There is also an established pattern of risk associated with the Easter Bank Holiday weekend and increased public activity in the countryside generally at this time.”
The DAFM reminded members of the public intending to visit forests and other recreational sites of the requirement to remain within 5km of their homes and 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. Fire behaviour and initial spread rates are likely to be influenced by lower afternoon humidity levels and light to moderate wind speeds during the lifespan of this warning. Wind speeds may exceed 20km/h in some areas and will increase suppression requirements.”
Advice to the general public/forest visitors:
The DAFM has asked members of the general public to cooperate with requests regarding fire safety and obey the laws. They are also being urged to be considerate of emergency vehicles when parking.
The Department has issued the following advice:
- Firstly, do not light fires in and around forests or open land;
- Do not attempt to intervene or fight fires under any circumstances;
- Gather all family/group members and move to a safe fuel-free location such as a car park, upwind of the fire;
- Telephone Fire and Rescue Services via 112 and report the fire and its location;
- Evacuate if instructed to do so and cooperate with all Emergency Service Instructions.