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Minister of State McEntee reminds land owners and the public that the threat of land fires remains

Shane McEntee T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry today reminded forest owners, managers and the public that there is an ongoing risk of land and forest fires in certain parts of the country over the coming days.

Minister McEntee noted that with most of us experiencing fine weather at the moment, Met Eireann's Fire Weather Index (FWI) warns of 'high' to 'extreme' risk conditions for fire in many parts of the country over the coming weekend. The Minister reminded land owners that it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on uncultivated land between 1st March and 31st August. He also highlighted the potential damage to property, to our rural environment and the threat to peoples' lives posed by illegal and uncontrolled fires.

The Minister praised the efforts made to date by the Fire and Emergency Services and the Gardai at all levels to deal with the problem of illegal and uncontrolled fires. "I am very pleased that the combined efforts of the Emergency Services and Gardai, working at local level and in conjunction with my Department, the forestry industry and other interested parties, has helped to reduce the incidents of fire and consequent destruction of property in 2012 compared to recent years." Minister McEntee also praised the vigilance of forest owners, rural dwellers, land owners, hill walkers, and members of the public "The response from all these groups to the problem has been very encouraging and I would ask people to remain vigilant over the coming days and the June Bank Holiday weekend in particular and to report immediately any incidents of wildfires or suspicious activity".

Date Released: 24 May 2012