New procedure to define how to make a fire in nature2016-07-25
1 August saw the entry into force of a new version of the Environmental requirements for the burning of plants or their parts outdoors, approved by the Minister of Environment. For the most part these requirements incorporate a legal act of 1996 of a similar title, in particular the Environmental requirements for the burning of dry grass, reed and straw as well as agricultural and gardening waste. Taking regard of reports and proposals from the population continuously received at the Ministry of Environment, this legal act has been supplemented with new requirements and guidance concerning the burning of fires and the use of food preparation equipment (grills, etc.) in nature.
The new law includes the previous common bans on the burning of stubble, uncut and non-gathered (unraked) grass or reed, but it also bans the burning of growing trees or shrubs. The legal act also lays down a ban to burn wood without reloading if that wood was stacked more than a week before the burning process. This provision is aimed at avoiding the death of small fauna as often small vertebrates such as weasels, hedgehogs or frogs find shelter and the passerines build nests in heaps of branches.
According to the new procedure, only wood and charcoal rather than anything burnable can be burnt in bonfires and wood preparation equipment (e.g. grills, char-grills, fires and smoking ovens) during hiking, holiday, camping and similar events. Bonfires can only be made in specially designated locations and on private land plots in places chosen by the owner unless prohibited by other legal acts, e.g. the Law on Protected Areas or the Special conditions for the use of land and forest.
To avoid burning bonfires in places not designated for this purpose, it is recommended that the municipal authorities, the directorates of protected areas and the state forest enterprises provide the required number of places for hiking and burning fires. This is especially relevant for the population of the large cities who want to cook food outdoors during the warm season but cannot find the right place for that in the city.
Mobile food making devices that use open fire outdoors must be placed so as to prevent any damage to the grass vegetation and neighbouring trees or shrubs. The fire protection rules need to be observed as well. Ashes must be fully extinguished. Spreading them on farming land is recommended.