FORESTRY officials are on high alert this weekend as tinder-box conditions threaten wildfires following scores of gorse fires around the country.
Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has warned of the extreme danger of forest fires in some parts of the country following outbreaks of gorse fires in counties Galway, Mayo, Donegal and Dublin.
While some of the fires have been deliberately set, extremely windy conditions last week, coupled with a lack of rain has left forests as well as gorse, heather and bogland in tinder-box condition.
Met Eireann's fire weather index has also warned that persistent dry and windy weather meant there is a high to extreme risk for wildfires into the weekend at least.
In Co Donegal blazes have burned over the last seven days. Donegal County Council said fire crews have responded to 62 call-outs to date.
In Co Galway more than 50 call-outs to gorse fires were made over the Easter weekend.