herald

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Warnings over forest fires and hydrants

A ‘Condition Red’ forest fire warning is now in place. Photo: Reuters
A ‘Condition Red’ forest fire warning is now in place. Photo: Reuters

Fire crews have slammed people who opened "several fire hydrants" in Tallaght on Tuesday night.

Dublin Fire Brigade crews from the area were forced to attend the scene and close a number of open fire hydrants after they flooded the road.

They criticised those who opened the hydrants as the country battles with temperatures that are expected to hit 30C in inland areas.

"Opening fire hydrants is illegal, it reduces water pressure for the surrounding areas and is a waste of natural resources," the Fire Brigade wrote online.

The warning comes less than 48 hours after the Department of Agriculture issued a rare 'Condition Red' forest fire warning, which will remain in place until 12pm tomorrow.

Devastating

Condition Red is the highest level and extremely rare for Ireland. The department has highlighted the extreme danger posed to both resources and public safety arising from vegetation fires, especially gorse fires, with particular reference to fires close to heavily populated areas.

It also noted that fires at this time of year can have a "devastating impact on wildlife and habitats.

Dublin Fire Brigade has also asked people not to light barbecues outside of designated areas and to always take care when disposing of cigarettes.

Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forestry sector. They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk, the Fire Brigade said.

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.

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