The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) have issued a status red forest fire warning for the coming days.
The warning is effective from today (May 5th) until 12 pm Thursday (May 7th).
The risk stems from a high-pressure system which is currently located East of Scotland and is inducing moderate to fresh easterly airflows over Ireland.
Fine Fuel Moisture Code levels are currently above 85 and wind speeds are likely to exceed the critical 30kmh threshold in most areas over the next 48 hours. This type of pattern has previously been associated with extreme fire behaviour under Irish conditions, according to the DAFM.
Typically, extreme conditions derive from ‘Type A’ Northern European high-pressure systems, where air circulates in a clockwise direction over the Northern European and Central European landmasses.
The DAFM state that this circulation across the landmass causes the air to shed moisture and become very dry, which in turn dries out vegetation on the ground very rapidly inducing high levels of combustibility, particularly in fine fuels.
Recent incidents have shown that most ignitions risks appear to be associated with deliberate ignitions on areas where active turf cutting or illegal waste dumping is taking place.
Forest owners, managers and landowners are urged to take all necessary preventative measures to eliminate all fire activity from the landscape and enforce relevant fire protection legislation.
The Department have also asked rural residents to implement a high degree of vigilance, check on elderly or other vulnerable neighbours and assist with preparation and reassurance. Evacuate if this is deemed necessary by the Local Authorities.