The conditions create a heightened risk of gorse, forest and bog fires and firefighters from Ennis, Kilrush and Ennistymon have already had to respond to one of the largest wildfires of the year to date in Ben Dash.
Brigades were in attendance for nearly 11 hours, as two square kilometres of bog and gorse were scorched between Lissycasey and Kilmaley last week [8 April]. With forecasts suggesting a return to drier conditions following light rain over the weekend, the Fire Service says the risk posed by uncontrolled burning remains high.
Denis O'Connell, Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer said that there has been significant damage to forestry and land as a result of last night's fire. He also asked that people are vigilant and that they call the fire Brigade if they see any uncontrolled fire.
“The highest risk period for quickly spreading fires occurs between March and June, when ground vegetation is dead and dry following the winter period. Fires have spread quickly this week due to the dry vegetation, low humidity and easterly winds which feed the fires,” he stated.
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. The Service advice includes:
- Landowners burning gorse, scrub, or vegetation must inform the Fire Service at least one day in advance on 999 or 112 providing details of the location, time and duration of burning.
- In addition, landowners burning within 1 mile of woodland must notify the local Garda Station and woodland owner in writing at least 7 days in advance.
- Where burning is to take place within a Special Area of Conservation or Natural Heritage Area, written consent must be sought in advance from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
- It is illegal to burn household or commercial/industrial waste, household green waste (e.g. hedging), electric cables for the recovery of copper, or to burn waste in bonfires.
Details of the laws in relation to burning, and additional guidance are available at www.clarecoco.ie.