Teagasc is urging farmers, landowners, rural dwellers and those using the countryside to be extremely vigilant and heed the high-level warning for forest fires, reminding everyone that it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on uncultivated land up until the end of August.

The Agriculture and Food Development Authority is urging all involved in outdoor activity to exercise extreme caution, and to heed the high-level warning for forest fires. The current high pressure weather patterns have resulted in a high fire risk in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist.

John Casey, Teagasc Forestry Development Officer, said: “Based on recent fire activity, ignition risks appear to be mainly focused on areas with public access, particularly peatland sites. Wildfires not only pose a serious risk to property and the rural environment, they also threaten lives directly in their path and by potentially diverting the resources of our emergency services.”

Click here to consult the DAFM Forest Fire Danger Rating.

Teagasc is urging forest owners and forest managers to be vigilant regarding fire and to have appropriate measures in place to help prevent loss or damage through fire. These measures include having adequate insurance against fire risk, a current and accurate fire plan, access routes clear, fire breaks maintained along boundaries, fire suppression resources at the ready, and co-operation with neighbours and fire patrols planned where required.

Teagasc staff will continue to work with Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), the fire services and local interagency groups to support farmers and forest owners in regard to awareness of fire threats, as well as providing training and advice in relation to mitigation of risks.