This year the Critical Fire Period ended on 30th September. With effect from the 1st October the position concerning the burning of fires in rural areas is as follows:
- If the fire risk in your area is either “extreme” or “very high” you are not permitted by law to burn fires or any other use of fire in rural areas – if you violate this you can be subject to high penalties.
- If the risk is “high” or below – you may burn small piles of leaves or cut branches without permission. However in some municipalities internal regulations establish that they must be informed beforehand so they can give any necessary advice. The persons to contact are the municipal civil protection service or the forestry municipal forestry technicians. So it is recommended you always check with them first.
- If you are burning uncut material such as bushes or small trees, this is classified as pasture renewal and permission beforehand must always be sort from the local municipality.
Another good reason to inform the authorities is because if someone else sees your fire and reports it, the emergency services will be aware of the situation.
As a general rule you should also:
- Avoid periods of strong winds that increase the intensity of the flames, which may ignite surrounding areas,
- Avoid the hottest days when debris and pasture are drier,
- Avoid fires in the proximity of trees, piles of firewood, gas containers or other highly inflammable material and overhead electric lines,
- Avoid burning large piles of debris and instead burn several small piles.
- Water – to avoid any emergency during the course of the burning is necessary that water is always available, either through containers, or through hoses connected to the public network, the wells or springs.
- Avoid making fires in places where the slope is steep. Incandescent material can free up the fire and roll down the slope causing fires.