The Department of Agriculture has issued a warning about the risk of forest fires during the current warm spell - the orange alert remains in place across the country until Friday.

Coillte's communications manager Pat Neville has also urged the public to be vigilant.

He said the highest risk of forest fires is at this time of year, when last year's vegetation has not fully decomposed and become dried out.

Mr Neville said most forest fires do not start naturally, and lighting a campfire or having a barbeque can have potentially catastrophic effects.

He says the public have an important role in protecting forests from fires.

The warning comes following extensive gorse fires across Dooyork in Geesala over the weekend.

The blaze, which threatened a number of homes, was eventually brought under control yesterday evening.

Erris-based FG Councillor Gerry Coyle has praised the local community for assisting the fire services in bringing the blaze under control, and he's pleading with people not to heedlessly throw away cigarette butts....

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