Chief Fire Officer makes appeal about illegal burning

Leitrim Observer Reporter

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Leitrim Observer Reporter

Fire fighters tackle gorse fire in Limerick

Gorse fire. Stock image

Given the dry weather forecast for later this week and the impact of this weather on the flammability of fine fuels such as grasses, gorse, and heather in both upland and lowland areas, Leitrim Chief Fire Officer, Finian Joyce is warning of a considerable risk of bog and forest fires later this week.

"We are approaching the peak season for the occurrence of such fires. This threat will remain until the end of May," he warned.

Forest owners, farmers, rural dwellers and other countryside users are asked to be vigilant to help prevent the outbreak of such fires occurring.

The public is reminded that it is an offence to cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between March 1 and August 31 in any year.

You should report any suspicious or illegal activity to Gardai immediately. Landowners found responsible for lighting fires illegally will be issued fire bills by the fire authority.

Landowners wishing to carry out prescribed burning during the legal period for doing so, must notify in writing all Forest owners within one mile of the intended burn site and the local Garda station must be notified between 7 and 35 days in advance of any controlled burning operation.

All controlled burning operations should be notified to the Fire Service before burning commences. Landowners found burning illegally could face fines, imprisonment and Single Farm Payment penalties, where applicable.     

If you see a fire, do not delay; report it to the Fire and Emergency Services straight away. Do not wait for somebody else to make the call. Dial 999 or 112.

Give clear details as regards location, where at all possible and any other useful information such as the size of the fire, wind direction, proximity to dwellings or forestry etc. You will not be billed by the fire service or local authority for making the call. Do not attempt to tackle fires alone or without adequate training or protective equipment.