Land cleaning deadline for rural and forest lands extended to 31st May 2024


The Government today (30th April) decided to extend for another month, until May 31, the deadline for forest owners and producers to clean forests and land, informed the office of the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

“The decision is related to the rainfall recorded in recent months and the high water content in the soil, which affected many of the fuel management operations and encouraged the rapid growth of vegetation in the areas already intervened”, the note explains.

Also according to the Government, weather forecasts indicate that, in May, “appropriate conditions will be maintained for the safe carrying out of fuel management activities and that, therefore, this additional period will allow operations to be carried out in all necessary locations.”

“Vegetation management within the scope of the secondary network of fuel management bands constitutes one of the pillars of the integrated rural fire management policy, especially in the area of ​​protection against rural fires – ensuring greater effectiveness in defending people, animals and property against the spread of fires –, as well as in terms of rural fire management”, allowing the mitigation of the annual number of occurrences, reads the note.

In a February order, the Secretary of State for Civil Protection and the Secretary of State for Nature Conservation and Forests identified 991 priority parishes for inspection of fuel management in 2024, between May 1st and 31st, in the case of rural land owners close to buildings or in clusters bordering forest areas.

The work would have to be completed by April 30th, and the inspection will also take place, between June 1st and 30th, in the ranges between five and 10 meters from the road, railway and electricity and natural gas transport networks, which are the responsibility of the respective responsible entities

In the case of land located in rural areas, cleaning must cover up to 50 meters from buildings, in forest, bush or natural pasture areas.

In population clusters located in or bordering forest areas, fuel management is mandatory in an outdoor range of no less than 100 meters, a distance also provided for camping or industrial parks and landfills.

Municipal councils, in addition to having to be informed of fines from entities external to the municipality, can notify owners for cleaning or, subsequently, carry out the work and be reimbursed for the expenses.