Uruguay governs decree banning fire and burning


From 15 November until the second half of April, a decree prohibits the realization of fires and burns of any kind outdoors throughout the National Territory applies.

Decree 436/007 is a comprehensive action plan for the prevention, alert and response of forest fires. In addition, it establishes the obligation to keep the premises clean and exhorts all people to extreme care in the use of fireworks. It should be remembered that this is a crime that is punishable by imprisonment and that 95% of claims are due to human action.

Uncontrolled fire on forest land can affect large areas causing great damage to vegetation, fauna and soil, with consequent ecological, economic and social losses. That is why the National Emergency System permanently coordinates actions aimed at preventing, mitigating and responding to the occurrence of forest fires during the summer season.


Recklessness, carelessness and intentionality are conduct punished by our laws. In this regard, article 206 of the Penal Code determines that «fire is a crime with a criminal charge of between 12 months in prison and 16 years of penitentiary».

In the same line, Article 2 of Law 15.896 states that «Fines shall be graduated according to their severity, between 10 and 200 re-adjustable units» and Article 90 of the Rural Code determines that the one that burns fields is bound to «repair all damages it causes».


The National Emergency System recalls some of the recommendations such as keeping the premises clean, not throwing cigarette butts without shutting down, paying attention to directions in forested areas, not lighting fire outdoors and in any risk situation immediately calling 911 (Emergencies) or 104 (Firefighters) to prevent an ignese focus from morphing into fire of magnitude.

In the understanding that during the summer season holidaymakers make use of grills in rest house, it is also remembered that precautions should be exercised. In the case of campsites, stick to the recommendations for the realization of safe stoves:

  • Pre-clean the place where the fire will light at least 5 meters around.
  • Remove leaf and pine forests and surround the fire with stones, bricks or similar objects.
  • Do not make large campfires: to cook is enough a small fire. Do not leave the fire unsurveillance.
  • Once the cooking of food is finished, completely turn off the heat.
  • Remove the remains of firewood and ash to make sure it is completely extinct before removing from the site.
  • Permanently monitor the fire and before leaving the campsite completely extinguish it.


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