Prevention of Field Fires Law, 1949 (Abridged Translation)

Interpretation 1. In this Law

"Director" means the Director of the Soil Conservation Section of the Ministry of Agriculture;

"inspector" means a person whom the Director has appointed inspector for the purpose of this Law;

"field" includes a wood, a forest, a garden, a plantation and the sides of a road or way.

Prohibition of the burning of plants otherwise than under a permit. 3. A person shall not burn or cause to be burnt plants, whether attached to the soil or detached, in any field save under a written permit….

Prohibition of the burning of materials and of throwing away burning things in fields. 4. (a) A person shall not throw a smoldering cigarette or burning match
(1) within three meters of plants in a field;
(2) on a slope;
(3) from a train or a vehicle on roads or ways.

(b) Without prejudice to anything provided in subsection (a), a person shall not set fire to, or burn any matter, or throw away any burning, smoldering or inflammable matter within ten meters of plants in a field, or cause any such act to be done.

Clearing of ways and areas adjacent thereto. 5. Whoever has possession or is entrusted with the care of a road, a way, a railway or the sides thereof, or of ditches on the sides thereof, shall clear it or them, and keep it or them clear, of plants and any other flammable or burnable thing…to a width of three meters, along the borders thereof, and for this purpose may enter such land.

Provision of isolation strips. 6. (a) Whoever has possession of a field shall, upon the written demand of the inspector…clear and keep clear any portion thereof…provided that the width of such portion shall not exceed ten meters.

Keeping of fire- fighting equipment. 7. The Director may require any local authority, a person having possession of land of an area of not less than one thousand metric dunams or a juristic person empowered by its rules to have such possession…of land of an aggregate area of not less than one thousand metric dunams to keep materials, implements and tools for fire-fighting….

Mobilization of manpower and equipment for fire-fighting. 9. (a) The inspector…may mobilize for fighting a field fire any fire brigade and any vehicle, including the drivers thereof, which are within 50 kilometers of the place of the fire.

(c) The inspector…may mobilize for fighting a field fire any male person of any age from 16 to 50 years whose permanent residence is within 10 kilometers of the place of the fire.

Penalties 12. Whoever contravenes this Law is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine… or to both such penalties.

Implementation and regulations. 14. (a) The Minister of Agriculture is charged with the implementation of this Law and may make regulations as to any matter relating to such implementation.