Landowners across Clare are being requested to cease-and-desist all controlled burning immediately in an effort to reduce the demands placed on Emergency Call Operators and the Fire Service during the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency.
“In light of the ongoing Covid-19 National Emergency and in the lead up to vegetation fire season, Clare County Fire & Rescue Service wishes to advise all landowners that controlled burning will no longer be accepted by the Fire Service,” explained Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer.
Mr. Kelly said controlled burning should not take place “under any circumstances, until further notice is given.” He added that Communications Centres will not accept caller details.
“Should landowners ignore this notice and proceed to carry out any burning and a 999 emergency call is received relating to a fire on their property, then the Fire Service will be mobilised to attend and extinguish the fire in addition to this all the costs associated with the attendance of the Fire Service will be invoiced to the property owner,” stated Mr. Kelly.
The Fire Service warning comes as units of the Fire Brigade from Kilkee and Kilrush dealt with a forest fire at Moanmore, Moyasta, on Wednesday. The fire was reported to the Fire Service at 11:43am and brought under control shortly after 8:00pm.
Mr. Kelly commented, “Landowners and the wider public need to be mindful of the significant risks of fire at this time of year and also be aware of the damage to land and habitats caused by illegal burning. It is very disappointing to see that some people will continue to flout the Department of Agriculture regulations around illegal and controlled burning, particularly during a public health emergency. These people are knowingly drawing on limited resources at this critical time for our country.”
Department of Agriculture guidelines for landowners who burn land between the 01 March and 31 August:
– You risk prosecution, fines and potential imprisonment
– Such land will no longer be eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes;
– Inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2020 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, e.g. Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme;
– Illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment;
– Where it
is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season this may result in
such land being inspected by Department officials
information is available from the Department of Agriculture website at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/firemanagement.