Cleaning of plots: The deadline is April 30

Two important issues concerning the prevention and treatment of fires, have been settled in recent days by orders of the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, in view of the fire-fighting season, for which a road race is held to prepare the mechanism to the maximum extent.

In particular, with an amendment to the law “Modernization of the operating framework of the Hellenic Capital Market Commission… and other provisions” of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, which was voted in Parliament and published in the Government Gazette, passed an article on the use of fire as a means of extinguishing open fires. with the term “fire”.

At the same time, the Deputy Minister of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection, Evangelos Tournas, signed a fire order, which now sets  the deadline of April 30 for the cleaning of privately owned plots in settlements , while clarifying in detail what exactly should include cleaning, so that there is not the slightest gap or ambiguity, the obligations and responsibilities of the owners and the municipalities are determined, as well as the fines that will be imposed on those who do not comply.

As for “fire” (a method much discussed in recent years, which could not be applied, as there was no legal framework), it is now legitimized by a specific article of the law, which states:
” In case of open fire, which takes on dimensions or poses a risk of further spread, due to which there is a common danger to persons, things or the natural environment and is deemed operationally necessary, the use of fire by the Fire Brigade is allowed to extinguish it, under the more specific terms and conditions joint decision of the Ministers of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection and Environment and Energy “.

The latter means that the issue is not over, as the details of the use of the above way of dealing with large and dangerous fires must be determined, as well as those who will be able to apply the method and who must be trained and have relevant certification.

In this context, a technical committee has been set up, headed by the Deputy Secretary General of Civil Protection, George Mario Karagiannis and members an experienced firefighter and one from the Ministry of Environment and Energy with their scientific advisors, who will determine the technical details. about when, where, in what way and by whom it will be possible to make “fire”.

After the completion of the work and based on the conclusion of the committee, a Joint Ministerial Decision of the Ministers of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection and Environment and Energy will be issued, which will strictly define the specific specifications and conditions.

Sources from the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection stated that the goal is for the JMC to be ready during this year’s firefighting period and to be combined with the operation of the Forest Corps, which is expected to be ready in early June, and will have, among others, trained in the use of “fire”, along with firefighters of other services.

Plot cleaning and fines

Regarding the second issue, the cleaning of privately owned plots in settlements, the order signed by Deputy Minister Mr. Tournas, explicitly states that this must have been done by the owners by April 30, ie one day before the start of fire prevention period, to prevent the risk of fire or its rapid spread.

“Cleaning” is defined in detail the removal of broken trees and branches, dry grass, leaves, etc., at a distance of at least 3 meters from buildings, the pruning of plants and how to do it, the removal of flammable materials, as well as cleaning residues.

If the owners do not carry out the cleaning by April 30, the municipalities are obliged to inform them that they must do so within 10 days, otherwise the cleaning is undertaken ex officio by the municipality, which charges a fine to the owners.

If it is an abandoned area, or of unknown owners, fenced and insured, the municipality calls the Fire Department to confirm the risk of fire and then violates the area with a prosecutor’s order to clean it.

In the chapter “determination of obligations”, it is emphasized that the owners must carry out the cleaning and accept the control from the municipalities, the fire brigade and other competent authorities, while for the municipalities the provision states:
” The relevant municipalities must carry out the regular or extraordinary audits after a complaint or on its own initiative, to verify the fulfillment or non-fulfillment of the obligations of the obligors, duly and with due diligence “.

In case of non-compliance of those responsible for cleaning, they are imposed a fine amounting to 0.50 euros per square meter, on which there is a surcharge, if the project is carried out by the municipality.

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