Limerick’s Chief Fire Officer is appealing to landowners and the general public to beware of the dangers posed by illegal burning and forest, bog and gorse fires.
Michael Ryan says the ongoing dry weather has presented a heightened risk of wildfires occurring and he is warning of the implications of illegal burning, which, he says, can spread to private and state owned forestry plantations and jeopardise the safety of dwellings and families living in rural areas.
Mr Ryan added that such fire incidents also place an unnecessary strain and expense on the resources of the local fire service.
“We wish 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 Limerick during the past fortnight but the risk remains very high while this warm, dry spell continues,” he said.
Commenting on the issue of backyard and uncontrolled burning, Mr. Ryan added: “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. We would ask people to refrain from backyard and uncontrolled burning.”