07 Jul 2022

Laois Fire Service urges the public to be wildfire aware in the heatwave

Three men hospitalised with smoke inhalation after attending Laois bog fire

Aerial view of the bog fire taken by Laois Civil Defence drone of 2017 wildfire.

While most of us can in enjoy the weather Laois County Fire and Rescue Service is on alert and has urged people not to light fires in the open areas and to call 999 if they see a fire breaking out during the heatwave.

The forecasted long dry and hot spell of weather has caused the Department of Agriculture to issue a status Orange alert. It says public amenity areas near urban centres and areas of open at risk from illegal burning of waste are the highest risk areas.

Three men hospitalised with smoke inhalation after trying to tackle a Laois bog fire in 2017. 

Anthony Tynan, Acting Senior Assistant Chief Fire Officer, urged people to heed the warning.

 "An Orange warning is in place now for fire conditions based on the weather forecast – we’re asking people to refrain from lighting fires in the open, and if they see any to report them to 999 / 112 as soon as possible," he said.

The Orange warning is in place until noon June 28.

It says that all areas where hazardous fuels exist are at risk. The Department's advice said recent weeks have seen significant fire activity and losses in forestry. 

Wildfires have devastated forested areas in recent years leading to big financial losses. Thousands of acres of land in the Slieve Bloom Mountains are planted with valuable Coillte forestry.

The Department recommends that forest owners and managers should consider fire mitigation measures that they can put in place to help prevent loss or damage to forest resources through fire.

Met Éireann expects temperatures to exceed 31 degrees during the heatwave.

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