DAFM Sounds Alarm with ‘Code Orange’ Forest Fire Alert

"DAFM Issues 'Condition Orange' Forest Fire Warning Amid High Fire-Risk Conditions"

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has raised a ‘Condition Orange’ forest fire warning for the upcoming days. This alert stems from the current weather conditions, with a significant risk of fires in areas where hazardous fuels like dead grasses, gorse, and heather are prevalent. The warning is slated to be in effect until 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13. According to the department, the prevailing high-pressure weather system will usher in settled conditions, heightened temperatures, and a heightened fire risk, despite isolated rain showers in some regions.

In the event of fires, DAFM indicated that the behavior of the flames may be tempered by increased growth in live fuels, notably in upland grasses. However, the situation could be exacerbated by light and variable winds. Forest owners, farmers, rural inhabitants, and other countryside users have been urged to exercise extreme vigilance regarding fire activity. They are also encouraged to promptly report any suspicious or unlawful behavior to the Gardaí and to immediately notify the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999. The department emphasized that all forest owners and managers should prepare for potential fire outbreaks by reviewing and ensuring the readiness of fire lines, plans, and suppression equipment. Additionally, they should verify insurance and helicopter contracts and consider implementing fire mitigation measures to safeguard forest resources from fire damage.

DAFM underscored that it is unlawful to cut, grub, burn, or otherwise destroy any vegetation on uncultivated land between March 1 and August 31 each year. Landowners caught engaging in illegal burning activities could face fines, imprisonment, and penalties affecting single farm payments. The department also cautioned the public against using barbecues or open fires in forests and urged visitors to be mindful of parking vehicles to avoid obstructing emergency vehicle access in rural areas.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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