Forest fires are one of most frequent problems of summer. In fact, the high-risk season runs from June 1 to November 1. But this 2023, and due to the drought that we are experiencing, in mid-April, we are already experiencing its consequences.
At Eco from LOS40, we want to do our part to tackle a major problem. For this reason, over the next couple of months we will be releasing a whole series of reports related to the fires, in order to better understand the problem and how to stop it And to start, nothing better than thinking about what each of us can do in the face of this challenge. Take note!
1. Don’t make a fire. It seems obvious: if we want to fight fire, let’s not shoot. But looking at the data, that’s not the case: human negligence is responsible for a high percentage of wildfires that occur each year. In fact, it is estimated that 95% of forest fires are caused, mostly by negligence. So, by fall, forget barbecues that are not in a house for the good of all. And if for some reason you are forced to light a fire, even if you have asked permission, be sure to extinguish the embers completely and then cover the area with dirt or stones.
2. Pay attention to your trash. When we think of avoiding possible fires, lit cigarette butts come to mind as the most dangerous element. But there are many more: Glasses can be a ticking time bomb, as they can have a magnifying effect in the sun. Something similar happens with cans of soda or beer, and even with canned food. It’s a year-round maxim: when you go to the course, remember to leave it (at least) as clean as you found it when you arrived.
3. Avoid the use of car or mechanical devices. A simple spark can be the cause of a monstrous fire. The use of the car, especially in very dry deforested or brushy areas, is a risk best avoided as much as possible. Try not to park it in a place that can easily catch fire. Also, brush cutters, chainsaws, or any other type of machine that can cause a spark or overheat is a potential problem.
4. If you see a fire, react. All large fires that devastate hundreds or even thousands of hectares start as a small fire. In these first moments, the work of the rangers is crucial. But they can’t always be everywhere. Therefore, citizen collaboration becomes essential. If you see a fire, immediately call 112, the emergency number, or 062, the Civil Guard. And just as important, if not more so: if fire has already become a threat, stay safe.
5. Talk to those around you. Raising awareness of this issue, with everything related to protecting the environment and ensuring that we live on a better planet, is everyone’s business. This is not to be the voice of anyone’s conscience, but to remind your friends or family of the importance of heeding simple advice like the ones we offer. Do you dare spread the word?