The public are advised to be alert for risk of Forest and Gorse fires.
Figures from the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) show that fire crews tackled 1,872 gorse fires between 1 April 2021 and 24 March 2022.
With the soaring temperatures, visitors to beauty spots such as Gosford Forest Park, Clare Glen, Loughgall Forest Park and the Ring of Gullion are likely to increase significantly as sun worshipers seek to enjoy the good weather.
With increased traffic comes increased ignition risk.
In March firefighters battled a major gorse fire in the Mournes which led to the closure of the Rostrevor Road in Hilltown as fire crews battled the flames.
At the height of the inferno six fire appliances were in attendance; two from Newry and one each from Rathfriland, Armagh, Lurgan and Kilkeel fire stations.
In April 2021, a multi-agency operation was involved in bringing a huge gorse fire in the Mourne Mountains under control, which the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service (NIFRS) declared a major incident.
Advice from the Fire Service on preventing fires:
- Extinguish cigarettes and other smoking materials properly.
- Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows.
- Only use barbecues in designated and safe areas and never leave them unattended.
- Keep children and ball games away from barbecues.
- Ensure that barbecues are fully extinguished and cold before disposing of their contents.
- Avoid using open fires in the countryside.
- Do not leave bottles or glass in woodlands. Sunlight shining through glass can start a fire.
- Take them home or put them in a waste or recycling bin.
- If you see a fire in the countryside, report it immediately to the Fire and Rescue Service.
- Do not attempt to tackle fires that will take more than a bucket of water to put out.
- Leave the area as soon as possible.
Report any suspicious behaviour to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111