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Ministry vows tougher fines for stubble burning

2015-03-18

The Lithuanian Ministry of Environment says it will impose heavier penalties for stubble burning, which is still a widespread practice in the countryside in the spring.

 

Environment Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas has signed an order to increase the penalties on arsonists so they will have to pay not less than €100 irrespective of the area burned.

 

“Unfortunately, public campaigns and warnings alone have failed to prevent this kind of irresponsible behaviour, which is causing a lot of damage. If they don’t care about the security of other people and animals, and if that is not a sufficient deterrent for them, then we have to resort to the language that they do understand – simply put, let them pay for this,” the minister said.

 

Last year more than 4,000 grass and stubble fires were counted, burning thousands of hectares of meadows, crop stubble areas and forest outskirts. Fortunately, no people died in those fires, but they were lethal to wildlife.

 

Under the new order of the ministry, burning of grass, fallen trees, leaves, straw and crop residues entails penalties of up to €230, while arsonists of stubble, hey, reed areas, unharvested wheat or other crops may be fined by nearly €300. Fires that spread into forest areas are punishable by more than €1,100.

 

Forest and stubble fires should be reported by calling the single emergency number 112.

 

Public Information Division

18/03/2015

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas