This year's first grass fires registered in Latvia

This weekend, the first grass fires of the year were registered in Ainaži and in Salacgrīva, the Fire and Rescue Service said March 1.

The first grass fires are usually smaller but as the weather gets dryer they expand in area. The fires in Ainaži and Salacgrīva had 30 square meters of grass go up in smoke. Dry weather, strong winds and human negligence mean fires can easily spread out of control, destroying property, killing livestock and wildlife and in some cases taking an even deadlier toll on humans.

Hundreds of grass fires (kūlas ugunsgrēki) are registered in Latvia each year, to such extent that burning grass is sometimes referred to as a national hobby.

Rather than being burned in situ, grass should be cut and burned on a safe bonfire with proper precautions to stop it spreading - or preferably composted if possible.

Grass burning is prohibited and the persons responsible may be penalized. 

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