The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has issued advice to farmers and their advisors in relation to agricultural and eligible forestry land which is burnt during the closed season – that is 1 March to 31 August.
The Department has now activated its Fire Danger Rating System for the season.
Both farmers and the wider public, whether it be at work or in enjoying the countryside, should at this time of year be mindful of the damage caused by burning. It is also more important than ever that no one should start an illegal fire in the countryside as such activity will cause the unnecessary diversions of emergency service resources.
The Department asks all countryside users to be vigilant, to report any suspicious activity to An Garda Síochána, and to report any uncontrolled or unattended fires immediately to the Fire and Emergency Services via 112/999 service.
The Department has also reminded farmers of the negative consequences of burning land illegally.
If you burn land after the 1st March:
-there is a risk of prosecution,
-such land is not eligible for payment under the Basic Payment Scheme and other area-based schemes,
-inclusion of illegally burnt land in the 2021 Basic Payment Scheme application may result in reduced payment and penalties under this scheme and the other area-based schemes, for example Areas of Natural Constraints Scheme,
-illegal burning can also render the land of your neighbours ineligible for payment, and
-where it is identified that lands were burnt during the closed season, this may result in such land being inspected by Department officials