730 grass-fires registered this year

A total 730 grass-fires have been registered this spring in Latvia, reported Latvian Radio.

The first grass-fire of the year was recorded on February 3 in Smiltene. 

Fires like these are common in Latvia as people ignore official warnings and burn off last year's grass in the fields, risking life and limb in the process.

"I would call it a Latvian custom as each year April and May is spent under the sign of last year's grass [fires]," said Aldis Saukāns, a State Police representative from Rēzekne.

A total 2730 grass fires were recorded last year; the 2015 figure is 2786 while 4187 were recorded in 2014.

Grass fires raged on over 3232 hectares of land last year, of which 1470 hectares were in Latgale in Latvia's east.

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