LIMERICK City and County Council is urging landowners not to carry out any illegal burning of land during the COVID-19 crisis.
A spokesperson for Limerick City and County Council said as Ireland is currently in a national public health emergency due to the spread of COVID-19 “everyone needs to ensure that all of our emergency services personnel are available in terms of public safety”.
The message echoes that of the Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine Michael Creed TD who issued strong warnings to landowners about an illegal burning activity.
The spokesperson said, “This is an unprecedented time in Ireland and everyone must play their part in supporting our emergency services and ensuring they are not needlessly diverted, so it is crucially important that landowners heed the Minister’s warning.
“If someone should start an illegal fire in the countryside this will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources”.
The statement added that wildfires can cause disruption in rural communities as well as putting homes and livelihoods at risk.
“Such disturbances to rural dwellers, including those who are old and vulnerable cannot be allowed under any circumstances but especially at this time when the country is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement concluded.
If you 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