Kildare County Council warn of bog fires, drowning risks, and water shortage dangers due to heatwave

Advice issued

Leinster Leader reporter


Leinster Leader reporter


Kildare County Council warn of forest fire, drowning and water shortage dangers due to heatwave

Swimmers urged to be aware of the dangers

With this spell of hot weather set to continue Kildare Fire Service are urging people to be to be conscious of the potential for outdoor fires in glass lands, forests and bogs.

"It is a great time to be out in our beautiful natural environment but carelessness with smoking materials, BBQs or other ignition sources could result in an outdoor fire that would ultimately destroy that civic amenity. This is not the time to be burning vegetation and outdoor fires can escalate very quickly in the current weather conditions," said a Kildare County Council spokesperson.

SEE ALSO: Kildare forest fire warning: National Red alert issued by Dept of Agriculture

Kildare Fire service recommends that the following tips for having a safe BBQ:

∙ If you are using a gas BBQ check the cylinders for rust or damage and ensure any connections are clean and fitting snugly before lighting. Check the condition of the hoses and any of the connections for perishing or blockages.

∙ Always site a barbeque on a firm, level base sheltered from wind gusts and well away from anything flammable like garden sheds, vegetation, fences etc.

∙  Have a garden hose or similar continuous supply of water available at all times.

∙  Follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the correct start up and shut down procedures. NEVER put any flammable liquid on a barbeque.

∙ Ensure that the lit barbeque is in the care of a responsible adult at all times.

∙ Keep children away from any barbeque and remember to remove and secure any lighters and matches that you have used in lighting the barbeque.

∙ Only use a barbeque in a well ventilated area as fumes and gases emitted may be harmful.

∙  If a gas leak does occur shut off the cylinder immediately and allow any gas to dissipate.

∙  Use alcohol responsibly around barbeques.

∙  Allow hot ashes or coals to cool for 48 hours before removing them.

Kildare Fire Service is also highlighting that Kildare's bog lands and fen lands are area of high risk and are asking the people of Kildare to be vigilant with naked flames and potential ignition sources in these areas.

Farmers are being advised to exercise extreme caution with respect to hay making and the use of machinery and other agricultural activity that may also present a risk of fire in dry vegetation on cultivated lands in the current conditions. Under the current extreme conditions there is the potential for rapid and unpredictable wildfire development and spread.

"The issue of a Condition Red Extreme fire risk warning is a comparatively rare event and the Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine are urging people to take immediate action to protect resources and property," said the council.

The recommended actions include:
 Forest owners/ managers, other land managers, landowners and local
authorities should now implement fire patrols to exclude all fire activity from
the landscape and enforce relevant fire protection legislation for the
duration of this notice
 Rural residents should be vigilant and check on vulnerable neighbours
 Member 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

Water Safety

Irish Water Safety and Kildare County Council are appealing to the public to take greater care when swimming and fishing in the current spell of warm weather.

62% of all drownings occur at inland water sites. Water temperature is 18° Celsius and less in many inland sites and is 14° and less at sea. Cold water immersion is the greatest contributing factor to drowning on our island nation

1. Swim at designated bathing areas where possible

2. If there is no designated bathing area near you then swim at known traditional bathing areas where there are ringbuoys erected that you can use if somebody gets in to difficulty

3. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth

4. Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim

5. Always ensure that the ringbuoy is in its yellow box before entering the water

6. Make sure that the edges are shallow shelving so that you can safely and easily enter and exit the water

7. Don’t swim in Quarries and ESB Reservoirs and tail races

8. Wear a wet suit if you are not used to the cold water

9. Stay Away From The Edge after you consume alcohol as 30% of all drowned victims have consumed alcohol.

The majority of drownings occur inland where river and lake beds can be difficult to see and therefore extremely difficult to determine if you are swimming within your depth. The onset of cramp, combined with the panicked realisation that you are out of your depth can have tragic consequences and be compounded further by the muscle cooling effect of longer periods in open water.

If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:

A. Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.

B. Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.

C. Throw a ringbuoy or any floating object.

Water Conservation

Irish Water are asking the public to conserve water.  Please click here for further information.