Bush Fires Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-62.pdf
Published: 1901

Bush Fires (CAP. 62 1

CHAPTER 62

T H E BUSH FIRES ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

1. Short title.
2 . Interpretation.
3 . Prohibition of fires by proclamation.
4. Licence to set fires.
5. Penalty for setting fire without licence.
6. Provisions as to rubbish dumps.
7 . Liability of owner.
8. Penalty for setting fire without permission of the

Commissioner.
9. Fires on Crown land.

10. Extinction of fires.
11. Persons may be called upon to assist in putting out fires.

Penalty for refusing to assist.
12. Queen's evidence.
13. One moiety of fine to be paid to informer.
14. Prosecution and punishment.
15. Saving of existing liability.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Bush Fires (CAP. 62 3

BUSH FIRES

(14th June, 1901.)

1811989.
S . I . 3911989.

1. This Act may be cited as the Bush Fires Act. Short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.
"Commissioner" includes the Commissioner of Police

and any other Gazetted Police Offlcer or subor-
dinate police officer authorized by the Commis-
sioner for the purposes of this Act;

6 ' crop" means any growing crop, tree, wood, under-
wood, furze or grass or other produce of the soil
whether cultivated or not, or whether standing or
cut down;

"Crown lands" means any land vested in Her Majes-
ty, Her heirs or successors; or any land in the oc-
cupation of the Government;

"land" includes any crop or trash being in or upon
any land;

"owner" includes tenant, occupier and the person hav-
ing the immediate charge or management of any
plantation or land;

c L trash" means any megass, straw, brushwood or other
inflammable matter.

3. It shall be lawful for the Cabinet, by order to pro- :;:? of
hibit the setting of fire to land within such parts of Antigua proclamation.
and Barbuda and within such times to be specified in such
order as the Cabinet may see fit, and any person who, after
the publication of, and within the time specified in such order,
shall set fire to any land within any part of Antigua and
Barbuda mentioned in such order, shall, on summary con-
viction be liable to pay a fine not exceeding three thousand
dollars, or to be imprisoned for such term not exceeding six
calendar months as to a Magistrate shall seem fit.

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4 CAP. 62) Bush Fires

Licence to set
fires.

4. Any owner desirous of setting fire to any land shall
give to the Commissioner a notice in writing giving a suffi-
cient description of the locality of such land, and the Com-
missioner shall inspect such land, or cause the same to be
inspected by some competent person to be named by him,
and on such inspection being made, may, if he shall see fit,
and subject to such conditions as he may determine and im-
pose grant a licence to set fire to such land or any part thereof,
in which licence shall be specified the days within which such
licence shall be in force:

Provided that no such day shall be a day prohibited
by any order of the Cabinet with respect to such locality.

Penalty for
setting fire

5 . If fire shall be set to any land without a sufficient
without licence. licence in that behalf under this Act, or in breach of any

condition attached to such licence by the Commissioner, the
owner shall, on conviction thereof before a Magistrate, for
every such offence be liable to pay a fine not exceeding three
tl~ousand dollars or to be imprisoned for any term not ex-
ceeding six months as to such Magistrate shall seem fit. And
every person not being the owner, who shall set fire or aid
or assist in setting fire to such land shall, on conviction thereof
before a Magistrate, for every such offence be liable to a
fine not exceeding three thousand dollars or to be imprison-
ed for any term not exceeding six months.

Provisions as to
rubbish dumps.

6. The provisions of sections 4 and 5 shall not apply
to fires set under the authority of the Chief Public Health
Inspector on lands selected by him for use as rubbish dumps.

Liability of 7. On the trial of any information, or in any pro-
owner.

ceeding for a summary conviction under this Act, proof of
any crop or trash growing or being in or upon any land
having been on fire shall be p r i m facie evidence against the
owner of such land of such fire having been set thereto by
such owner.

Penalty for
setting fire

8. Any person who shall set fire to any Crown lands
without except by virtue of an order in writing from the Commis-
permission of the sioner to be made under the authority of this Act shall, on
Commissioner.

conviction thereof before a Magistrate, be liable to a fine
not exceeding three thousand dollars or to be imprisoned

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Bush Fires (CAP. 62 5

for any term not exceeding six calendar months, as to the
Magistrate shall seem fit.

9. It shall be lawful for the Commissioner, by an order :;-on Crown
in writing under his hand, to make an order for the setting
of fire to any Crown land on any day not being a day pro-
hibited by any order of the Cabinet; and public notice of
such order having been made shall be given by affixing copies
of such order in some open and conspicuous part of the
several police offices within the district within which such
land or any part therof may be situate, at least ten clear
days before the first day to be appointed in or by such order
for setting fire to such land.

10. For the better extinction of fires, every constable ;::fpction
on its coming to his knowledge that a fire has broken out
on any land shall forthwith give notice thereof to the police
officer in charge of the nearest police station and thereupon
it shall be lawful for such officer, with such assistants as he
shall see fit, to enter upon any land where such fire may
be, or to which there may be reasonable cause of apprehen-
sion that such fire may spread, and to do all such matters
and things as such officer shall reasonably deem to be
necessary for the purpose of extinguishing such fire, or
preventing the growth or spreading thereof.

11. It shall be lawful for any police officer or any 4~2;;;~~:
Magistrate or Justice of the Peace to call upon and require assist in putting
every male person present at such fire to aid and assist in Out fires.
the extinction of such fire, and any such person who after
being so required, shall refuse or fail to aid or assist in such
manner as such officer or Magistrate or Justice of the Peace
may direct shall, on conviction thereof before a Magistrate,
be liable to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars
or to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding three months Penalty for

refusing to assist. as the Magistrate shall seem fit, unless he shall prove to the
satisfaction of the Magistrate that at the time of the fire he
was under the age of fourteen years, or above the age of
sixty years, or was prevented by bodily sickness or infirmity
from so aiding and assisting.

12. On the commission of any offence against this $!!n2ee.
Act any of the offending parties who first discovers and

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CAP. 62) Bush Fires

informs against the other or others of such offending par-
ties, before any information has been lodged against such
informing party or parties for such offence shall upon the
conviction of the party against whom such information was
given, be discharged and acquitted from all penalties to
which, at the time of such information given, such inform-
ing party might have been liable for or by reason of any
such offence committed by such informing party, and the
evidence of such informing party shall on any trial at law
touching such offence be admitted to prove the facts thereof
or relating thereto.

One moiety of
fine to be paid

13. All fines and penalties recovered under the pro-
to informer. visions of this Act shall be paid into the Public Treasury

for the public uses of Antigua and Barbuda:
Provided that after deducting from any such fine or

penalty the costs of the conviction, if any, the Magistrate
may, if he thinks fit, direct any sum, not exceeding one moie-
ty of the residue, to be paid to the person upon whose infor-
mation such conviction was obtained:

Provided further that where the pecuniary penalty is
not paid and the person incurring such penalty is sent to
prison in lieu of such payment of such penalty it shall be
lawful for the Minister, if he thinks fit, to cause such reward
as he thinks fit to be paid out of the Public Treasury to the
person upon whose information such conviction was obtained.

Prosecution and
punishment.

14. Any person accused of having committed any of
the offences hereinbefore set forth, may, notwithstanding any
other law to the contrary, be prosecuted on complaint before
a Magistrate in the manner prescribed by the Magistrate's
Code of Procedure Act, and shall, on conviction, be liable
to the punishments hereinbefore respectively prescribed for
such offences:

Provided that, where any such Magistrate shall impose
a term of imprisonment on any person so convicted as
aforesaid, such imprisonment may be either with or without
hard labour.

Saving of
existing liability.

15. Nothing in this Act contained shall take away or
diminish the liability of any person for any damage from
fire caused by the act or neglect of such person or his ser-
vant, and nothing in this Act shall take away or diminish

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Bush Fires (CAP. 62 7

the liability of any person to prosecution and punishment
for an offence at common law or under any other law:

Provided that no person shall be punished twice for the
same offence.
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