FEL encourages public to help prevent forest fires

May 1, 2015

FEL encourages public to help prevent forest fires

As the weather continues to improve ahead of the summer months, the risk of forest fires grows. Joe Codd, Director of Sales at FEL, is appealing to the public and landowners to help prevent the spread of fires, which destroy habits and threaten forestry incomes for many owners.

March to July is peak season for forest fires. In 2011, over 16,000 ha of forests valued at €20 million were destroyed due to fires. There have been 10 related deaths in past 15 years due to forest fires with families forced to evacuate their homes in some areas. Dealing with forest fires poses a risk to emergency services and costs the taxpayer. The safety of sightseers and hill walkers is also threatened as fires can spread very quickly in dry conditions.

Joe outlines several ways that the public can help prevent fires when using the countryside and forests for recreational purposes. These include:

  • Check weather conditions and warnings before your trip
  • Take extra care when lighting barbeques and fires, particularly if using lighter fluid
  • Never leave a campfire or equipment such lanterns, stoves and heaters unattended
  • Do not throw used cigarettes, smoking materials or matches into dry vegetation. Remember to remove all  rubbish from a camp site
  • Report any suspicious activities or signs of a fire immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services on 999 or 112. You will not be billed by the fire service or local authority for making the call.

Landowners are reminded that as per the Wildlife Act, 1976, it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on land not then cultivated between 1st March and 31st August in any year. Landowners must provide their intention to burn land in writing to a Garda Station in a Garda District in which the land they intend to burn is situated. Written intention must be provided between seven and thirty-five days in advance.

Plantation owners can take several precautions to prevent fire. FEL specialises in forest fire protection and services include:

  • A detailed fire risk assessment of your plantation
  • A fire-plan for your plantation
  • Installation and maintenance of fire protection measures such as fire lines
  • Forest insurance advice

For more information on fire protection please contact a member of our team on

1800 719 399 or email info@nullfel.ie