Teagasc issues forest fire warning for Easter holiday
The agricultural training and education body says that current extended high pressure-dominated weather and effective drought patterns have contributed to the risk.
This is the fifth forest fire warning of 2017.
The warning was introduced on Monday 10 April and is predicted to remain in place until 18 April.
Teagasc has said “the highest degree of vigilance” is needed by forest owners and managers during this period.
Recent weeks have seen significant fire activity, with some allegations thrown about of people setting fire to vegetation illegally.
Advice to forest owners
Teagasc has said that forest owners and managers looking to prepare for outbreaks of fire should review fire lines, fire plans and fire suppression equipment and other relevant contingencies such as insurance, helicopter contracts, etc.
It also suggests assessing your property with regard to fire risk, developing a fire plan for all forests, and having fire-fighting tools such as beaters and knapsack sprayers to hand and ready to use. For more tips from Teagasc on this issue, click here.
Greater forestry area
As our forestry editor Donal Magner previously reported, Irish forests are becoming more vulnerable to damage by a wide range of agencies and this has become more noticeable, especially since the increase in private planting.
Magner writes that, at its simplest level, we now have a greater area of forest to protect. The Irish forest estate – public and private – has doubled in the past 35 years, while the private estate alone has more than trebled over the past 25 years, from 121,000ha to 367,000ha.