The Department of Agriculture have issued a Red Forest Fire Warning due to the present dry weather conditions.
Under extreme Fire Risk Conditions any ignition source in hazardous fuels will give rise to rapid and unpredictable wildfire development and spread.
Under these conditions, in upland situations fire can be expected to cover extensive areas and pose extreme difficulties to suppression efforts and may potentially likely give rise to Major Emergency scenarios.
Typically, extreme conditions derive from ‘Type A’ Northern European High Pressure Systems, where air circulates in a clockwise direction over the Northern European and Central European land masses. This circulation across the land mass causes the air to shed moisture and become very dry, which in turn dries out vegetation on the ground very rapidly inducing high levels of combustibility, particularly in fine fuels. Where the edges of
these Easterly systems rest over Ireland/UK such cold dry air will be accompanied by strong and often cold very low humidity winds from the South East or North East that will support further drying and rapid fire propagation and spread to produce high intensity fire events, that can be further exacerbated where fuels and topography permit.
The issue of Condition Red Extreme fire risk warnings is a comparatively rare event and implies that recipients should take immediate action to protect resources and property. Such action may involve the mobilisation, assembly and prepositioning of resources such as water tankers, machinery, personnel and contract aviation support in high risk areas.
Forest owners / managers, other land managers, landowners and local authorities should implement fire patrols to exclude all fire activity from the landscape and enforce relevant fire protection legislation. Rural residents should also implement a high degree of vigilance, and check on elderly or
other vulnerable neighbours and assist with preparation and reassurance, and evacuation if this is deemed necessary by the Local Authorities.