Public urged to take care as fire fighters tackle blazes in Dublin and Wicklow

Firefighters have been tackling a major forest fire in the Saggart area of Dublin

Public urged to take care as fire fighters tackle blazes in Dublin and Wicklow

Dublin Fire Brigade officers battle a gorse fire raging in the Tolka Valley Park in Finglas, 28-06-2018. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Firefighters have been tackling a major forest fire in the Saggart area of Dublin this evening.

Coillte teams and an Irish Air Corps helicopter have been assisting, as the blaze heads towards nearby roads.

The blaze broke out over the weekend but re-ignited this afternoon and is covering a large area of Lugg wood and Slade Valley.

Meanwhile the Wicklow Fire Service says the Military Road near Sally Gap in Wicklow is closed due to smoke.

Three fire engines and a foam tender were called to a major fire in the area yesterday.

A red forest fire warning will remain in place until at least tomorrow as the high temperatures and dry conditions lead to an ‘extreme fire risk’ in certain areas.

Dublin Fire Brigade is urging the public to avoid all use of outdoor fires, barbeques and other ignition sources on forest lands and high risk areas until further notice.

Since Monday there have been four forest fires, 44 gorse fires and 147 grass fires in Dublin and the surrounding counties.

Fire fighters are warning the public to stay away from any forest and gorse fires that do erupt – as conditions can change quickly and people can become stuck.

Darren O'Connor Sub Officer with Dublin Fire Brigade said wildfires are extremely dangerous:

“Yesterday there was a car that was lost in one of the fires on the Dublin/Wickow border,” he said.

“We would appeal to people not to come and look at these – the wind can change direction extremely quickly

“They can burn down towards the roadway, you become disorientated if you get caught in the smoke and we would ask people just to stay away.”

He also called for members of the public to think of the fire brigade and park responsibly when out in nature over the coming days.

The fire service says it's had a number of incidents where it hasn't been able to access forests or beaches because of poor parking.

“We would appeal to people that are out enjoying the amenities at the weekend to park responsibly,” said Sub Officer O’Connor.

“Last Saturday, we had an incident there we had to get a car removed from a forest gate.

“These are all accessed by narrow roads – our trucks are all nearly eight foot wide and 24 foot long so we need a nice bit of room to be able to manoeuvre around so we would ask people to park responsibly.”