New rules look for fire notice
Farmers burning waste or vegetation on their farms risk on-the-spot penalties of at least €1,000 unless they give advance notice to the local fire service.
Under revised regulations which came into effect last week, farmers are required to give details of location, date and precise time for any fire around their farms in advance of any burning.
The IFA has warned farmers that they will be obliged to pay a heavy penalty for a service that they usually do not require.
Controlled burning of scrub and vegetation is permitted on farms from September 1 through to the end of February every year.
Limerick farmer David Thompson was charged €1,700 after someone in his area reported a fire on his farm, despite the fact that it represented no threat to persons or property.
"I don't know who reported the fire," said Mr Thompson.
"The fire service arrived out claiming that they were responding to a call and I was landed with a nasty bill over which I pleaded with the authority but eventually had to pay. Farmers should be very much aware of the requirements", he said.
There is some variation in charges around the country, but they are generally around €500 per hour, per team, attending a fire. Often, two teams are mobilised if a large fire is reported.