Coillte has a released a statement following reports of a large forest fire at Crone Woods in Wicklow.
A spokesperson for the forestry body said that Coillte and and fire service personnel are “currently working to bring a significant forest fire under control.
“The fire is affecting areas of forested lands and also the Wicklow Mountains National Park. An Air Corps helicopter is in attendance to assist in the efforts.
It is too early to determine the source of ignition of this fire.
“There is a National Status Orange Forest Fire Warning in place and Coillte is asking the public to avoid the use of all outdoor fires and other open ignition sources such as barbeques and cigarettes at this time.
“Coillte request that all members of the public and visitors to recreational areas should cooperate with all requests regarding fire safety, obey all relevant bye-laws and be considerate in parking vehicles so as not to impede access by emergency vehicles.
“Forest fires pose a serious health and safety risk to the public and to people working in the forest sector.
“They are very difficult to control and put firefighters and forest personnel at great risk in their efforts to extinguish them.
“They cause ecological and environmental damage to wildlife and to protected habitats and species that can take years to recover from.”
Coillte advises that where fire outbreaks occur 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.