Irish Timber Growers Association call for public's assistance
The Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) have called on the public to help prevent damaging forest fires by reporting immediately any land fires, even when small, to the fire brigade and relevant authorities. The speed of response is critical and often it is best not to assume that someone else will make that call. If in doubt call out the Fire Brigade and summon help.
Donal Whelan of the Irish Timber Growers Association has outlined that over the past 24 hours NASA's Information for Resource Management System (FIRMS) has shown a number of real-time active fire locations in Ireland. With the current Met Éireann 'High' fire weather index indicator likely to reach 'Extreme' in the coming days, we must be particularly vigilant over the next few days and weeks and report land based fires to the fire brigade and relevant authorities.
In Ireland, this time of year is generally the highest fire risk season as ground vegetation is dead and dry following winter and many vegetation types have not yet greened up. Several hundred acres of forests and woodlands are destroyed by fire annually in Ireland which has a devastating impact on biodiversity and wildlife.
Forest fires also release massive amounts of smoke pollution and carbon into the atmosphere with significant implications for air quality and for those who suffer from respiratory illnesses. It also represents a significant personal economic loss to those farmers and landowners who have planted woodlands, seriously impacting on their personal income with knock on effects for local communities.
Donal Whelan of ITGA called for the public's assistance to help prevent forest fires and also to stop fires developing through vigilance particularly at this time of year and by calling out the Fire Brigade as soon as a fire is visible.
For further information, contact:
Donal Whelan, Technical Director, Irish Timber Growers Association
Tel: 087 2209422
See also our Forest Fire Prevention Page for information on reducing the risk of forest fire.