Grazing Fires and Forestry
Perhaps one of the biggest risks to your forest investment is fire. If your forest is in an
area where grazing fires are likely to be laid it is important that you familiarise yourself with the legal and
technical issues surrounding them.
Three simple steps will help to control the risk.
1: The first and simplest step to take is to make sure that any landowners in your locality
who might lay a grazing fire are aware of your forest and of the risk their fire might pose to it.
2: Ensure that firebreaks are in place between
your forestry investment and any properties that could pose a grazing fire risk.
3: Make sure that firebreaks are kept clear of any debris that could allow the fire to
transfer from one property to another.
Grazing fires are governed by the Wildlife Act. Under
Section 39 of the Act it is an offence to burn vegetation within one mile of forestry
unless appropriate notice has been given to the local Garda Sergeant and to the occupier of the
forest. Under Section 40 (amended 2000) of the Act it is illegal to set grazing fires between
March 1st and August 31st.
If you become aware of an illegal grazing fire then report it to your nearest Garda
station. This links to the Stations section of the Garda website which has contact
details for each Garda station in the country.
It is essential to report a grazing fire to the Gardai if it has resulted in damage to your
forestry plantation or if you have incurred costs in controlling it.