Up to $300k in fines, jail time for persons illegally burning garbage – GFS warns

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
A fireman battling a fire that spiralled out of control from a burning pile of garbage

The Guyana Fire Service has noted several recent reports of garbage and grass fires at various parts of the country and is urging citizens to desist from openly burning heaps of garbage or grass.

If these fires do occur they should never be left unattended as they possess the potential to spread and become major fire emergencies.

Persons desirous of using fire as a method of land clearing or for any other purpose must obtain permission from the Guyana Fire Service before proceeding further.

Tips for controlling and preventing grass fires:

– Do not throw cigarette or cigar butts on the ground or out of a vehicle. Dispose of them properly and make sure they are completely extinguished.

– Be mindful of parking cars, trucks or recreational vehicles on dry grass or shrubs. Exhaust systems on vehicles can reach a temperature of more than 1000 degrees; it only takes about 500 degrees to start a fire during the dry season.

– Parents should emphasize to their children the dangers of playing with fire as some grass fires are started by children who have no idea how quickly flames can grow and spread.

– Keep a shovel, bucket of water, fire extinguisher, or other fire suppression tools on hand.Burning of waste can result in the release of highly toxic pollutants into your home and environment.

Citizens should also note that the illegal open burning of garbage attracts a fine of $80,000 to $300,000 and perpetrators can face up to three months imprisonment. [Press Release]