Ahead of the start of the hunting season on Sunday, the forestry department has appealed to hunters to be particularly careful and to avoid any actions or activities that may cause a blaze such as lighting fires or discarding cigarette butts and lit matches.
In a written announcement, the department reminded everyone that lighting a fire without permission in or at a distance of two kilometres from a state forest was a criminal offence punishable with up to 10 years in jail and/or up to €5,000 fine.
Lighting a fire in the countryside is also an offence and carries a penalty of up to five years in jail and/or up to €20,000 fine.
Lighting fires is permitted only at forestry department designated picnic sites.
Prevailing weather conditions are such that a red alert remains in place regarding the danger of a fire breaking out and spreading
Anyone who spots smoke or fire is urged to telephone 1407 or 112 immediately.