THE Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued a Forest Fire Risk Warning advising that extreme or high forest fire risk conditions exist over parts of Ireland and that these conditions are expected to continue over the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The current weather is wet in Donegal and the forecast gives rain on Saturday and Monday. To date growth has been poor and even though the ground conditions may be wet the ground vegetation can dry out rapidly given a short period of dry weather resulting in favourable conditions for the growth and spread of wildfires.
“Donegal County Council wishes to appeal to landowners and members of the public to exercise caution should the weather conditions change and to take all necessary
measures to prevent gorse, heather, forestry and similar fires,” a spokeswoman said.
Donegal County Councils Fire Service has responded to 179 wildfires since Thursday 28th March 2013. All land owners and members of the public are being urged to be vigilant should the weather change and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire Service by dialing 999 or 112..
Donegal County Council would also like to remind landowners and members of the public that under the Wildlife Act 1976 and the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000 it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between 1st day of March and 31st day of August in any year.
The Council is also urging people not to engage in activities that could contribute to an increase in instances of fires.