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File image of firefighters battling a forest fire in Co Mayo. Alamy Stock Photo
orange warning

'High risk' orange forest fire warning in place until Saturday evening

Forest owners and managers have been advised to prepare for ‘likely outbreaks of fire’.

AN ORANGE FOREST fire warning is in place until Saturday evening.

The warning has been issued by the Department of Agriculture and is in effect until 6pm on Saturday.

An orange warning means that there is a high fire risk.

The alert has been issued due to the current weather patterns and there is a high risk in areas where there are hazardous fuels such as dead grasses and shrub fuels like heather and gorse.

Met Éireann forecasts that today and tomorrow will be largely dry, with highs of 15 degrees.

In a statement, the Department said: “A high-pressure system currently located over Scandinavia will induce easterly airflows over Ireland, with moderate humidity and moderate wind speeds as the week progresses.”

The statement added: “Fire behaviour is likely to be influenced by moderate windspeeds in the 15-25kmh region, but higher windspeeds above the critical 30km/h threshold may be experienced in some Southern Coastal areas.

“Where fires occur, fire behaviour will be strongly affected by current dead fuel availability.”

Forest owners and managers have been advised by the Department to prepare for “likely outbreaks of fire” and to be “extremely vigilant regarding fire activity”.

This includes reviewing fire plans and fire suppression equipment and making ready any necessary contingencies.

The public has also been asked to be considerate when parking in forest areas and to not impede access by emergency vehicles.

The public has also been reminded that fires should not be lit in or around forests or open lands.

If a fire breaks out at or near a recreational area, no one should attempt to fight the fire under any circumstances.

Everyone should move to a safe location, such as a carpark or an area upwind of the fire.

The fire should then be reported to fire and rescue services via 112 and the public are reminded to cooperate with all emergency service instructions.

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