With forecasts suggesting further dry weather over the next week, Clare’s chief fire officer, Adrian Kelly, is reminding landowners and the general public of the dangers posed by illegal burning and forest, bog and gorse fires.
Mr Kelly said that illegal burning can spread to private and State-owned forestry plantations and jeprodise the safety of dwellings and families living in rural areas.
He added that it places an unnecessary strain and expense on the limited resources of Clare’s fire service.
“We would like to remind landowners that it is an offence under the Wildlife Act to burn growing vegetation between March 1 and August 31 in any year, on any land not then cultivated. The sad fact is that if this simple rule was adhered to, many costly and dangerous wildfires would be avoided.
“Thankfully, there have not been many reported fire incidents across Clare during the warm weather of recent weeks but the risk remains high while this dry spell continues,” he cautioned.
Commenting on the issue of backyard and uncontrolled burning, Mr. Kelly said some fires can be started by lightning or from something as simple as a discarded cigarette butt. However, most fires recorded in Clare in recent years have been the result of uncontrolled or illegal burning.
“Uncontrolled burning can result in loss of life, as well as damage to property. It is often mistakenly seen as a cheap method of managing waste and it is presumed not to be harmful to the environment, but nothing could be further from the truth,” he added.