Featured image: Letterkenny Gorse Fire, 25th April 2020, by Brian McDaid
A status red fire warning has been issued nationwide for the next two days due to high-pressure weather.
There is an extreme fire risk in forests and rural lands, according to the warning that is in place until midday Thursday.
If a fire is lit under current weather conditions, the public is being warned that it is likely to cover extensive areas and cause a major emergency.
Based on recent fire incidents, the Department of Agriculture stated that most ignitions risks appear to be associated with deliberate fires on areas where active turf cutting or illegal waste dumping is taking place. Members of the public intending to visit forests and other recreational sites are reminded of the requirement to remain within 5km of their homes and to adhere to regulations introduced to limit the spread of Covid-19. Vehicles should not be parked at site entrances or impede emergency service access to forest roads.
The high-level status is a rare event which calls on people to take immediate action to protect their resources and property.
The alert calls on forest owners / managers, other land managers, landowners and local authorities to implement fire patrols to exclude all fire activity from the landscape and enforce relevant fire protection legislation.
Rural residents should also implement a high degree of vigilance, and check on elderly or other vulnerable neighbours and assist with preparation and reassurance, and evacuation if this is deemed necessary by the Local Authorities.