Warning over threat of forest fires issued

South and south west said to be most at risk

A gorse fire on the Hill of Howth, Co Dublin in 2003. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

A gorse fire on the Hill of Howth, Co Dublin in 2003. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, May 3, 2013, 10:29

Farmers, forest owners, and members of the public have been warned to be on the alert for the risk of forest fires this weekend.

In a statement, Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said very high risk fire conditions appear to exist in some parts of the country.

In particular the south and south west regions, with several fires reported in North Kerry in the last few days, are at risk.

“Two years ago, we saw a number of major fires over the bank holiday weekend that destroyed or damaged property, including farmland and forestry,” Mr Coveney said.

“To date in 2013, we continue to see large numbers of fires reported from around the country. As can be seen from the media coverage, such fires are not confined to remote areas, these incidents affect rural communities and endanger people’s homes and lives and place enormous strain on the resources of our emergency services.”