Rare 'Condition RED' extreme forest fire warning issued as heatwave continues

Dublin Fire Brigade: Twitter
Dublin Fire Brigade: Twitter
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The Department of Agriculture has issued a Condition RED warning for fires due to current dry conditions and forecast high temperatures.

Temperatures are due to remain in the mid 20s for much of this week and the fire warning is to remain in place until 12pm on Friday, June 29.

Condition RED is the highest level and extremely rare for Ireland. The red status warning replaces an orange alert issued yesterday. The department has highlighted the extreme danger posed to both resources and public safety arising from vegetation fires, especially gorse fires, with particular reference to fires close to heavily populated areas.

it also noted that fires at this time of year can have a "devastating impact on wildlife and habitats, especially fledgling birds and young mammals living in affected areas." 

Dublin Fire Brigade have also asked people not to light barbecues outside of designated areas and to always take care when disposing of cigarettes. 

Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forest sector. They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk in their efforts to extinguish them.

They also cost significant amounts of money to Coillte and private forest owners; in the costs of operations to control the blaze, in the loss of the value of the standing timber and the additional costs in managing and replanting the burnt areas. 

With the red weather warning in place, it is very likely that there will be more forest fires and Coillte asks people to remain vigilant and report any fires they see to the local fire brigade.

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The Department of Agriculture has asked the public to be vigilant and issued a number of guidelines to be followed.

  • Do not cause or light fires in and around forests or open land.
  • Dispose of smoking materials responsibly.
  • 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. Co-operate with all Emergency Service Instructions.

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