Forest Fires : Five Basic Rules

General News
Dangers of Forest Fires
Dangers of Forest Fires
Forest fire July 24, 2015 in St. Jean d’Illac about twenty km from Bordeaux – MEHDI FEDOUACH AFP

Six hundred hectares have gone up in smoke since Friday with the Forest Fires in the Southwest of France.  The President in the Var region earlier today, Monday called for everyone “to be vigilant everywhere in France” and launched a “call for common sense behaviour  […] because it’s  carelessness and stupidity that explains most often the forest fires in the department and throughout other regions of france. ”

Some basic tips …

  • Respect the prefectural orders
    Each year, prefectures close areas at risk to traffic. “You have to respect them and do not circulate in the forests that fall under a closure order,” says the National Forestry Office (ONF). Accessible areas are available on the websites of the prefectures.
  • no smoking
    “A cigarette butt thrown wayside can quickly ignite dry grass, shrubs and the nearby forest,” says the ONF.  This advice applies to hikers but also (mostly) to motorists tempted to throw out the window their cigarette butt.
  • No barbecue
    Barbecues are forbidden for example in the Languedoc-Roussillon and PACA region during the summer season.  “Except of course if they are stuck at home and within the regulations,” says one at the ONF.
  • Undergrowth throughout the year
    To avoid the spread of forest fires, it is recommended to clear brush better and regular plots. The ONF takes specific forestry measures, equipment and execution of works to protect massive at risk.  But beware, burning plants in the garden in the high season is risky. “For a smoldering fire can smolder for a long time.”
  • Forget the fireworks
    They are “frequent causes of fires,” says the ONF.  Firecrackers, rockets fireworks and games with matches are strongly discouraged in summer in dry wooded areas.

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