Orange fire danger notice

An Orange fire danger notice is currently in place, effective until Monday, the 20th of April. A Condition Orange means that a high fire risk is deemed to exist in all areas where hazardous fuels such as dead grasses, and shrub fuels such as heather and gorse exist.

Head of the Teagasc Forestry Development Department, Nuala Ni Fhlatharta has urged all landowners to be aware of the fire danger notice. She reminded landowners that they cannot burn at this time of the year, and highlighted the risk to forestry.

It is important for landowners (including farmers) to know that it is illegal to  cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy any vegetation growing on any land not then cultivated between 1st March and 31st August in any year, under the Wildlife Act 1976 & the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000.
In addition, The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. has recently warned farmers that they must not burn land at this time of year and doing so may have serious consequences for farm payments. For example-

  • Burnt land is not 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 burned during the closed season this may result in on-farm inspection of such land in due course.

In these unprecedented Covid-19 circumstances that we find ourselves in, everyone needs to be conscious that illegal burning at this time robs our communities of vital emergency service response capabilities.

John Casey, Teagasc Forestry advisor said: “On a personal level for landowners, the uncontrolled burning of land consumes more than just forests and bogland. They can damage lands, farm infrastructures and contribute to the long term decline in the grazing potential of farmland. These fires also threaten the safety of our most delicate ecosystems and habitats, and the flora and fauna that live in them.”

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