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Minister of State Hayes Reminds Land Owners and the Public of the Danger of Wildfires

Tom Hayes T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry today reminded forest owners and managers, turf cutters and the general public that there is a high risk of wildfires during the current spell of hot weather.

The Minister said that with hot, dry weather predicted to last until next weekend, ‘high’ to ‘extreme’ fire risk conditions already exist in many parts of the country and asked members of the public to be extremely careful if out and about over the coming days;

Many people will be outdoors enjoying the Irish countryside, from forest walks or family days out to hiking or camping trips. I would ask everyone to be alert to the danger of fire outdoors and in particular in or near our forests.”

Minister Hayes referred to a number of serious fires earlier this spring, which were a frightening reminder of the dangers of uncontrolled fires and the risks of damage to property, the environment and the threat to peoples’ lives that they can pose. Wildfire incidents also tie up the resources of fire and emergency services. The Minister said that forest owners and forest managers in particular, are advised to check fire plans and fire lines and to be vigilant regarding fire over the coming days.

Minister Hayes asked members of the public to be especially vigilant and careful over the coming days and to report unattended fires to the Fire Services immediately: “Please enjoy our countryside and forests, but remember to light barbeques in designated areas only, be certain they are extinguished completely before you leave and please bring your rubbish home with you.”

Further information can be found on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s website: http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/landandforestfires/

                                                                                                                                           

Date Released: 10 July 2013