Be Wildfire Aware
In 2017 the fire service attended over 2,072 gorse fires across Ireland.
While the majority of gorse fires attended by the Fire & Rescue Services are started deliberately they can also be started unintentionally by thoughtless and careless behaviour.
Both deliberate and accidental fires can cost lives and they are asking that the public heed fire safety advice to protect themselves and the countryside. These fires can easily spread and even a slight change in wind direction can pose a serious risk to life, property and the environment.
Wildfires have the capability to devastate farmland, wildlife and protected habitats.
Dealing with these types of incidents doesn’t just put firefighters’ lives at risk but also the lives of people living and working in rural communities.
The current spell of dry, sunny weather is providing a tinderbox landscape with conditions ripe for gorse fires to take hold.
NIFRS advice includes:
• Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
• Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
• Only use barbecues in designated and safe areas and never leave them unattended. Keep children and ball games away from barbecues.
• Ensure that barbecues are fully extinguished and cold before disposing of their contents.
• Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
• If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire & Rescue Service. Don’t attempt to tackle fires that will take more than a bucket of water to put out. Leave the area as soon as possible.
• Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire.
• Report any suspicious behaviour to the Police or Garda.