Grass fires in Lithuania

In the spring of this year, firefighters in the whole Lithuania have to spend hours and days on the burned grasslands. Although the winter is still not over, it has already begun, as every spring, the natural pain caused by human hands – grass fires. This year 175 fires have been recorded  . About 120 hectares of grass have been burnt. Most grass fires occurred in Vilnius County.

Fields and meadows are being destroyed by the fire – a painful blow to the nature. A large number of spiders, insects, invertebrates die in each square meter of meadow. From flaming grass, it often crosses into forests, peatlands, inhabited houses, farm buildings. Such fires threaten people’s lives and health.

Through grass fires and after them air pollution increases. Therefore, the Law on Environmental Protection prohibits burning of unpolluted, non-degraded or otherwise unplaced plants or parts thereof. The burning of grass is subject to administrative liability. Dry grass, like reeds, fallen leaves, straw, wildlife and vegetable waste, burning in violation of environmental protection requirements is punishable between EUR 30 and 230, and for guarantors and other responsible persons from legal entities – between EUR 60 and EUR 300.

The abuser may also have to pay for damage to nature. It is calculated according to the methodology for calculating the damage to the environment. In cases where the grass fire spreads to forests or protected areas, appropriate factors are used to calculate the damage and may reach thousands of euros.

Many environmentalists consider fines too small. The damage to the environment should not be considered only to this day but also with the future consequences.

Algirdas Jurgelevičius, Vice President of the “Eastern European Association of the Greens”