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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 22 September, 2019
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A warm weather warning is in effect for most of the west coast as temperatures soar

The government warned the public to be vigilant against the risk of forest fires.

A man dives into the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin.
A man dives into the Forty Foot in Sandycove, Dublin.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

A STATUS YELLOW warm weather warning is in place for parts of the west and south of Ireland as temperatures reached 28 degrees in parts of the country. 

The warning covers Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Limerick for Thursday. It began at 1pm and will remain in place until 7pm this evening.

A high of 28 degrees was recorded in Shannon this afternoon as temperatures soared across the country. 

Met Éireann has warned that the solar UV index is very high and asked people to “take care in the sunshine”. 

While temperatures were highest in the south and west of the country, many places enjoyed plenty of sunshine with the average temperature between 20 and 25 degrees.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht issued a warning today of the increased risk of forest fires during hot weather. 

In a statement, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan called on people to “act responsibly”. 

Members of the public, she said, should be “mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, to be mindful of the need to protect property, both publicly owned and privately owned and to appreciate the value of our natural heritage”. 

“Fires do not just happen in Ireland; they are caused deliberatly or inadvertently go out of control. This is a particular risk during hot and dry periods of weather like we are currently experiencing,” Barry O’Donoghue of the National Parks and Wildlife Service warned.

“Uncontrolled fires can have devastating impacts on habitats and species and ecosystems that may have taken decades or centuries to establish, but can be lost in minutes in a fire,” he added.

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service issued a wildfire warning in light of the warm weather earlier today. 

It asked landowners and the general public to refrain from any outdoor burning during the ongoing spell of hot weather. 

The fire service warned that any outside burning can spread to private and state-owned forestry plantations and jeopardise the safety of dwellings and families living in rural areas.

“We would like to remind landowners that it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to burn growing vegetation between 1 March and 31 August in any year, on any land not then cultivated,” Clare County Council fire officer Adrian Kelly said. 

“The sad fact is that if this simple rule was adhered to, many costly and dangerous wildfires that occur across Clare each year would be avoided.”

The council issued the following advice to the general public and forest owners:

  • Do not light fires in and around forests or open land.
  • 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, and cooperate with all emergency service instructions.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, a Met Éireann forecaster explained why the weather is going to be so warm: ”We do have these easterly flows that are bringing continental air over us, we’re having these hot temperatures across the continent – that airflow is coming over to us.”

Forecast

Looking at the forecast for the next few days, tonight is expected to be mostly dry again, with a risk of an isolated shower in the southwest. 

It will, however, be mild and humid with lowest temperatures between 13 to 17 degrees. 

Tomorrow will continue to be very warm with good sunny spells. It will be mostly dry in the east, but there will be some showers in the west early on and Met Éireann is warning showers could turn heavy and possibly thundery later in the day. 

The good weather looks like it will be short lived as it will turn unsettled over the weekend. 

“[The warm weather] will last until tomorrow anyway, it will be between 22-27 tomorrow, so there will be spots that will experience 27 degrees but it won’t go much over that,” the Met Éireann forecaster told Morning Ireland.

Tomorrow night is expected to be mild and humid again with lowest temperatures around 12 to 17 degrees. 

There will be outbreaks of showery rain at first with the risk of some heavy or possibly thundery bursts later.

Saturday is due to be warmer with temperatures of between 20 to 25 degrees. Met Éireann has forecast scattered showers with some sunny spells. However, showers are likely to be heavy or thundery, especially over the eastern half of the country. 

- with reporting from Dominic McGrath

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