Government postpones land cleaning deadline | Fire

The government will delay the time owners have to clean up their land and put in place fuel management tapes to prevent fires, TSF said, citing Environment Minister Matos Fernandes.

The deadline was March 15th. And as Matos Fernandes said, the new date has not yet been set.

Last year, the deadline was extended as part of exceptional and temporary measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the pandemic crisis is not the only reason.

“It’s not so much the pandemic,” Matos Fernandes told TSF. “It’s more due to the rains that fell so frequently, especially in February, that the soil has much more moisture in it, creating safety issues that are causing this mandatory floor cleaning appointment to be postponed.”

Land clearing should mean “cutting grass, bushes and undergrowth in a strip at least 50 meters wide around buildings in rural or wooded areas”, but also cutting branches of trees up to four meters above the ground and cutting down trees and shrubs less than five.

Ignoring the date can mean huge penalties. According to the law of the National Forest Fire Protection System, landowners are fined between 280 and 120 thousand euros.

In the event of non-compliance, the Chambers have a deadline to ensure that all work is carried out. If they fail to do so, “the following month, 20% of the twelfth ongoing transfers from the Financial Equilibrium Fund will be withheld”.

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