Due to strong winds expected around the island on Monday, the forestry department warned of an increased risk of forest fires, saying that in the event of an incident, it would be “extremely difficult, even impossible” to control if not extinguish the initial stages.

The warning urges the public to be extra careful and to avoid actions and activities that could spark a fire.

These include the use of power tools in areas where there is dry grass or other vegetation. The same goes for lighting fires or burning vegetation in these areas. Fires should be lit only in designated picnic areas.

People also need to consider where they dispose of cigarette butts, the forestry department said.

It is forbidden to light a fire within the state forests or within 2km of its edges without a permit. The offence is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to €50,000 or both.

Anyone who notices smoke or fire, in or near forest areas is asked to inform the nearest forestry station without any delay or call 1407 or the 112 emergency number and ask for the fire service.