Forestry Fire Protection

May 16, 2014

Forestry Fire Protection

Is your forestry plantation adjoining a bog or an open mountain area that is prone to being lit? If so, are you confident that your forest and valuable crop is protected against fire?

Peak fire season occurs between March-July.  This is the high risk period due to notably dry ground vegetation and lack of rain.  Even though we are still in the prohibited period for the burning of growing vegetation (1 March to 31 August), many bogs are still set a light to burn of dead vegatation causing danger to neighbouring forest plantations and farm-yards.   Young plantations are at most risk but older plantations beside open mountains or bogs are also at high risk.  Forests surrounded by bog or located near mountain areas covered with heather or scrubs are more susceptible to forest fires.

If a fire occurs on your plantation – you could risk losing:

  • Your annual premiums
  • Your valuable timber crop
  • Your future income

Under the reconstitution scheme, The Forest Service are no longer covers the cost of replanting after forest fires. Replanting a forest damaged by fire is expensive and can cost up to €4,500/ha to replant the plantation.

How to protect your forest against fire?

Firstly, it is necessary to create a fire plan for your forest plantation.  As a forest owner, you should ensure that your plantation is protected against fire and you can do this by developing a fire-plan, fire-line installation and maintenance and insuring your crop against fire.

A fire-plan consists of:

  • A map of the plantation detailing where the high risk zones are
  • Measures undertaken to protect the forest in case of a fire
  • Access points and local water sources
  • Contact details for emergency services, your  forest manager and neighbours
  • A checklist to check fire protection measures like firelines regularly

Installation and management of fire-lines

A fire-line is a strip of bare line installed to stop the spread of fire. Fire-lines are usually around 4-6m wide with all growing surface vegetation removed. Regular maintenance of fire-lines is necessary to ensure they are kept clear from scrub and foliage in order for them to be effective.

Forest Insurance

Your have invested significantly in your crop, so it is necessary to have adequate insurance. Forestry insurance will cover the loss of timber production and the cost of replanting your land, should it be destroyed by fire. If your forest is damaged by fire, you are responsible to replant the land otherwise your premiums will be at risk.

FEL specialises in forest fire protection and our 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