Latvian passion for burning grass ignites again

As snow melts and last year's grass is exposed, some Latvians tend to get the irresistible urge to watch the world burn. This year, 30 grass fires have already been recorded, including two in the past 24 hours, the State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) reports. 

The first grass fires this year were recorded early – January 8. Then, as Latvia was hit by a cold spell, there were no grass fires for a while, but a week ago they picked up again. Since then, two to four grass fires per day have been recorded.

Nobody has been caught red-handed this year yet. Luckily, grass fires this year have not hit homes.

VUGD recalls, as every year, that the burning of grass is prohibited and subject to penalties. 

Despite the warnings, penalties, countless cases of damage to property and human health and life, and harm to the environment, burning the previous year's grass in Latvia is still seen as almost a national sport or tradition among certain parts of society.

Advocates of burning rather than the considerably more laborious process of cutting and composting can be relied upon to lecture at length anyone within earshot about the claimed benefits of immolating large tracts of land and how it was a major contributing factor to the good old days or yore.

VUGD reminds the public to call 112 immediately if a grass fire or any other dangerous fire is spotted.

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