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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 22 February, 2020

Department warns that people who illegally burn land risk prosecution

Burning land between 1 March and 31 August is an offence under the 1976 Wildlife Act.

File photo: Burned land
File photo: Burned land
Image: Shutterstock/praphant ravee

A STRONG WARNING has been issued about illegal burning of land during the closed season of 1 March to 31 August by the Department of Agriculture. 

People who burn agricultural and eligible forestry land after 1 March risk facing prosecution. 

Land burning is used by farmers to get rid of old vegetation, promote new grass growth and improve upland grazing. Burning land between 1 March and 31 August is an offence under the 1976 Wildlife Act. 

“Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning, particularly given the current very dry weather,” said the Department in a statement. 

The DAFM forest fire danger rating level is at condition yellow which means people should be more aware of fire risks in the countryside.

“The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.”

Illegal burning can render neighbouring lands ineligible for payments and area-based schemes. Land identified as being burnt during the closed season could be inspected by officials from the Department.  

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