Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Agriculture, has asked farmers, forest owners, managers and the public to be alert to the risk of land and forest fires.
The Minister noted that while current weather conditions are variable, very high risk fire conditions appear to exist in some parts of the country, with several fires reported in North Kerry in the last few days. Minister Coveney said: “Two years ago, we saw a number of major fires over the Bank Holiday weekend that destroyed or damaged property, including farmland and forestry. To date in 2013, we continue to see large numbers of fires reported from around the country. As can be seen from the media coverage, such fires are not confined to remote areas, these incidents affect rural communities and endanger people’s homes and lives and place enormous strain on the resources of our emergency services.” The Minister reminded land owners that under the Wildlife Acts, it is illegal to burn growing vegetation on land not cultivated between March 1 and August 31. Anyone engaged in such illegal activity is liable to prosecution. Farmers may also face penalties on their Direct Payments.