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How to prevent forest fires

Forest fires are one of the worst enemies facing the natural territory of many countries every time the warm months arrive. For example, in Spain alone in 2019 almost 58,000 hectares were lost due to forest fires. Other current cases that have been devastating are the fires in the Amazon area and the fires in Australia . And while the action of emergency teams and volunteers is as necessary as it is commendable, the most effective way to fight these disasters is, by far, education and prevention.

If you want to learn more about how to prevent forest fires , keep reading us in this interesting AgroCorrn article.

You may also be interested in: Consequences of a forest fire
  1. Forest fires: causes
  2. How to prevent forest fires – tips and measures
  3. Consequences of forest fires

Forest fires: causes

There are different factors that can cause wildfires. In order to prevent them properly, it is necessary to distinguish between the possible causes of forest fires that are natural and those that are directly related to humans:

Natural causes

With the arrival of heat and drought , plants are unable to maintain adequate levels of humidity and begin to dry out, releasing ethylene, a highly flammable compound. This means that any spark in the environment can cause a large fire, and things like a lightning strike are more than enough. The fires caused by volcanoes, earthquakes, or even those caused by the concentration of light when passing through certain minerals, which have a magnifying glass effect, are also due to natural causes.

However, natural fires are minimal if we compare them with those caused by human hands. In Spain, only 5% of fires are caused by natural causes.

Anthropogenic causes

Or, more simply put, by the hand of man. They are much more likely in areas where human activity is close to large forest stands, that is, in urban-forest interface areas. Several types are distinguished here:

  • Accidental: electrical surges, downed cables, accidents with forestry or agricultural machinery and even caused by hunter’s ammunition.
  • Negligence: they are very common, and are caused by human carelessness resulting from bad education or lack of awareness. They are caused by poorly performed agricultural practices such as the burning of stubble, or carelessness with cigarette butts, bonfires or other sources of heat by people in the environment. Illegal landfills also enter here.
  • Intentional: these are those caused by economic interests or by people with pathologies of some kind that push them to do so. Almost half of the forest fires in the world are caused intentionally by man.

We recommend you learn more about it with this other post on What are forest fires and how they occur .

How to prevent forest fires – tips and measures

There are some basic measures that should always be followed to help prevent these fires. Here are some tips and measures to prevent forest fires :

  • Do not make a fire in risky season: it may seem very obvious, but for many it is not so obvious. In Spain, for example, this time is between June 1 and November 1. Any source of heat or spark in these months can be disastrous.
  • Do not leave residues: in forest land, any glass or object that acts as a magnifying glass, or any combustible material, can be equally fatal. Of course, smoking in these environments should always be avoided, and cigarette butts should never be thrown on the ground or from the car out of the window.
  • Have a prevention and action plan: residents of areas at risk of forest fire must be especially aware and prepared. Do not have barbecues on windy days, do not have hedges or especially combustible vegetation in the garden and even have hydrants and water tanks every certain distance.
  • Do not park vehicles anywhere in the forest: the exhaust pipe is a source of heat and sparks. You should not park or circulate more than in designated areas. In a similar way, it happens with appliances with a combustion or electric motor.
  • Notify the authorities: whenever we suspect that some inappropriate activity is being carried out in the forest that may lead to a fire or that one is already starting, we must go to the authorities so that they act as soon as possible and prevent the fire from happening Or, they can control and extinguish it quickly.

Consequences of forest fires

In addition to the most obvious consequences, which are the destruction of the habitat of a large number of animal and plant species and deforestation, the damage of a forest fire extends further. The loss of biodiversity can alter ecosystems with an even greater scope than that of fire, large fires release enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, which contributes to aggravating the already undeniable and evident global warming, and the soil is impoverished and desertified. In addition, the waters of the area can be contaminated, both surface and underground currents, spreading the damage both to nature and to humans. Lastly, the loss of human life, although less frequent, does not escape the list of consequences either, as homes or populated areas are often affected, or even fire-fighting equipment.

These are, in summary, the main consequences of forest fires :

Learn more about the Consequences of forest fires with this other article and in this AgroCorrn video where you will find very useful information.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to prevent forest fires , we recommend that you enter our Other environment category .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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