3 July 2018

Coillte Warns Public to Exercise Extreme Care as National Forest Fire Warning Extended Until Monday July 16th

Picture of Fire in the Slieve Bloom Mountains

Friday July 13th 2018: The Department of Agriculture has extended the RED alert warning for forest fires to this Monday 16th July due to current dry conditions and forecast high temperatures.

The Department advise at this point that all outdoor use of fires, barbeques and other open ignition sources be avoided on forest lands and in other high risk areas until further notice. Extreme caution is also advised with respect to hay making and the use of machinery and other agricultural activity that may also present a risk of fire in dry vegetation on cultivated land types in current conditions.

The Department also advise that there appears to be a strong correlation between fire activity and illegal dumping and other illegal activities on public lands in recent days and an increased vigilance by land managers, landowners and the public is advised.

Dublin Fire Brigade have also asked people not to light barbecues outside of designated areas and to always take care when disposing of cigarettes. Coillte staff have been continuously fighting forest fires in different forests over the past two weeks, across the country. Teams are working around the clock to keep the fires contained, but rain is needed to dampen the fire and cool off the embers in the ground.

Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forest sector. They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk in their efforts to extinguish them.

They cause widespread ecological and environmental damage to wildlife and to habitats that can take years to recover from, especially at this time of the year when many birds and other animals are raising their young.

They also cost significant amounts of money to Coillte and private forest owners; in the costs of operations to control the blaze, in the loss of the value of the standing timber and the additional costs in managing and replanting the burnt areas.

With the RED weather warning in place, it is very likely that there will be more forest fires and Coillte asks people to remain vigilant over the weekend period and report any fires they see to the local fire brigade.

 

Coillte recommend the following steps to prevent forest fires at this time

  1. DO NOT light fires and be careful of all activity involving fires
  2. REPORT any suspicious activity you may observe
  3. REPORT any forest fires you see to local fire brigade
  4. DO NOT approach forest fires under any circumstance, they are extremely dangerous
  5. KEEP access points and forest entrances clear for emergency services

 

 

Media Contact: Páraic Gallagher, Q4PR 0878180555

 

About Coillte

Coillte is a commercial forestry company, owned by the State, that manages approximately 7% of the country’s land. Coillte operate three strong businesses from this land – their core forestry business, a wood panels manufacturing business MEDITE SMARTPLY and a land solutions business. Coillte export to over 30 countries worldwide and in the financial year 31 December 2017  generated EBITDA of €85.2 million. Coillte’s vision is to be the best forestry and land solutions company in Europe. To find out more visit www.coillte.ie

 

 

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