THE demands placed on emergency call operators and Clare County Fire and Rescue Service during the COVID-19 emergency has led to a call for landowners being warned to “cease-and-desist all controlled burning immediately”.
Considering the ongoing Covid-19 national emergency and in the lead up to vegetation fire season, Clare’s chief fire officer Adrian Kelly advised all landowners that controlled burning will no longer be accepted.
Mr Kelly said controlled burning should not take place “under any circumstances, until further notice is given.”
“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 the fire chief.
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 of last week. The fire was reported at 11.43am and brought under control shortly after 8pm.
Mr Kelly commented, “Landowners and the wider public need to be mindful of the significant risks of fire at this time of year and 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.”
The Department of Agriculture has strict guidelines for landowners who burn land between March 1 and August 31. Further information is available from the department’s website: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/forestservice/firemanagement.