Arising from current prolonged high pressure weather patterns, very high temperatures and effective drought conditions, the Condition RED – Extreme Fire Risk alert has been extended until midday on Monday next (16 July).

An extreme fire risk is deemed to exist in all areas where hazardous fuels exist. This meteorological risk is further compounded by high levels of ignitions activity and observed fire behaviour associated with current weather conditions.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is advising that all outdoor use of fires, barbeques and other open ignition sources be avoided on forest lands and in other high risk areas until further notice. Extreme caution is also advised with respect to hay making and the use of machinery and other agricultural activity that may also present a risk of fire in dry vegetation on cultivated land types in current conditions.

Where fire outbreaks occur at or near recreational areas the following actions should be taken by visitors in the interests of safety.
1. Do not light fires in and around forests or open land.
2. Do not attempt to intervene or fight fires under any circumstances.
3. Gather all family/group members and move to a safe fuel-free location such as a car park, upwind of the fire.
4. Telephone Fire and Rescue Services via 112 and report the fire and its location.
5. Evacuate if instructed to do so, and cooperate with all Emergency Service Instructions.

Meanwhile, Clare McGrath, water safety development officer with Clare County Council, is asking people to swim only in lifeguarded areas denoted by the lifeguard flags. “I would urge members of the public to observe notices on any beach or where they want to swim, and to observe the lifeguard’s rules and regulations regarding off- limit swimming locations,” she said.

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