Don't hesitate to call 999 if you see outdoor fires - Dublin Fire Brigade

Dublin Fire Brigade says people should not hesitate to call 999 if they see fire while they are out in the great outdoors.

The whole country is under a status red warning for forest fires after weeks of dry weather and hot breezy conditions over the Bank Holiday weekend.

Yesterday, smoke from a large gorse fire near north Belfast drifted onto the M2 motorway while in Co Galway the Portumna to Woodford road was closed overnight because of fires northwest of Lough Derg.

We are being warned to be careful with sources of ignition like cigarette butts and barbecues.

Darren O'Connor, station officer with Dublin Fire Brigade, says when wildfires get going it is a hard task for firefighters to stop them.

"The weather is extremely hot, the vegetation is extremely dry.

"If you do see a fire in the open area of the uplands, on heaths, on moorlands, report it immediately.

"The earlier we can get there, the better chance we can have because these fires often happen in areas where there are poor access and poor water supplies.

"They are difficult to get to and it's extremely difficult for firefighters to work in that temperature in the open with the sun coming down on them."

Mr O'Connor is reminding people that the wildfire warnings signal danger in your garden as well.

"In the last couple of days we have attended a number of fires actually in gardens of houses."

He said that fires can spread through hedging and affect sheds and neighbouring properties.

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