Protection of forests from fires

Forest fires are fairly considered all over the world to be one of the largest natural disasters in terms of area coverage. The consequence of fires is a decrease in the quality and species composition of the forest fund and the ecological functions of forests, the transformation of forest-covered areas and the partial or total loss of plantations.

The wildfires which are annually happening in the USA, Turkey, Greece cover larger and larger areas covered with forests, and huge human and material resources are involved in combating them.

In this regard prevention and suppression of wildfires is one of the most relevant tasks facing the state forest protection of Republic of Belarus.

In 2016 the fire situation in the woods of Republic of Belarus, in general, was characterized by average inflammability of the woods. According to the results of the fire season in the forests of the Ministry of Forestry, 270 forest fires were recorded on a total area of 212.5 hectares.

For violation of the rules of fire safety in the woods of Republic of Belarus by officials of the state forest protection of Ministry of Forestry in the period of a fire-dangerous season of 2016, 412 violators were brought to administrative responsibility.

In the system of the Ministry of Forestry for elimination of the fires in forest fund 255 fire fighting and chemical stations (FFCS) and 661 points of fire-prevention stock (PFPS) function.

For January-December 2016, 81.3 thousand km of mineralized bands and 49.5 km of fire breaks were constructed; carried out care for 17.9 thousand km of mineralized strips and 2,4 thousand km of fire breaks; 6167 notices and 6278 barriers were established; 507 vacation spots were repaired.

In 2016, 115 motor pumps, 1676 knapsack sprayers, 52.2 thousand linear meters of fire hoses, 16 blowers with devices for water supply, 6 fire-fighting modules were purchased.

In order to strengthen the material and technical base of forestry enterprises in 2016, due to the loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 8 fire trucks and 31 off-road vehicles for forest protection were purchased.

According to the order of the President of Republic of Belarus from March 10, 2016 number 39rp "On the donation of property" by Ministry of Defence were transferred 20 GT-MU caterpillar chassis for suppression of wildfires in hard-to-reach spots and forestry enterprises had provided their re-equipment (for needs of forest fire services) and completing with fire-prevention stock.

Within the framework of additional measures of fire protection of the forest fund of Brest and Gomel state production forestry associations in the territory adjacent to the State border of the Republic of Belarus with Ukraine installation of 78,3 km. of fire-prevention gaps and 795 km. of the mineralized bands was carried out, 18 CCTV cameras outside the forest fund were installed.

The number of the state of forest guard of Ministry of Forestry is 13446 people, including 8877 - foresters and huntsmen, 4569 - technical officers of forest enterprises and forest areas.

Most often, forest fires occur:

  • because of the people leaving not extinguished fires or stubs in places of rest or work;

  • as a result of children play with fire;

  • when burning garbage by owners of dachas and garden sites on wood edges;

  • оfrom agricultural burning.

In rare cases, natural causes are guilty:

  • lightning strike;

  • the spontaneous combustion of the peat.

What Everyone Can Do

Be extremely careful with fire within any natural territory. To ensure that your carelessness does not cause a forest fire, strictly observe the Fire Safety Rules in the forests.

During a fire-dangerous season (a fire-dangerous season - a part of calendar year during which wildfire emergence is possible) it is forbidden:

  • to make fire in the coniferous not closed forest stands and young stands of 1 class of age, on sites of the damaged wood (a windfall and a windbreak), peat bogs, in places with the dried-up grass (cultivation of fires (with the use of the following devices: braziers, a barbecue, a grill, gas stoves, etc.) is allowed on the equipped platforms bordered mineralized stripe (purified to the mineral soil layer) width of not less than 0.25 m. and in places excluding fire damage of crowns, trunks and root paws trees growing, except for prohibited areas, by no longer needed the fire to be extinguished until no decay;

  • to leave not extinguished sources of burning or decay (the burning matches, stubs, etc.);

  • apply when hunting wads of flammable or smoldering materials;

  • to leave oiled or impregnated with a combustible or flammable liquid or other flammable materials (paper, cloth, hemp, wool, etc.);

  • to fill the fuel tanks of cars and mechanisms in unspecified places and also at running engines; to use cars with the malfunctions leading to effluence of flammable or and combustible liquids and also to smoke or use open flame near the cars fuelled;

  • illegally burn dry grass on forest fund lands;

  • to store timber products (timber, etc.) on fire breaks and barriers, mineralized strips, etc.

The organizations carrying out aviation works on protection of forests from fires are required to transmit information about detected violations of these Rules and forest fires legal entities, leading forestry, other organizations and the Ministry of emergency situations of the Republic of Belarus.

What to do in a forest fire

Citizens staying on the territory of the forest fund are obliged to observe fire safety rules in the forests, and in cases of forest fire - to provide notification to the state forest guard and to assist in its extinguishing.

When visiting forest Fund to pay attention to the information boards, which are near forest areas or forestry enterprises. In the absence of information stands contact the rescue service 101, which has the possibility to inform the authorities of the Ministry of Forestry. After transfer of the message about wildfire, at small ignitions of forest fund to take possible measures for prevention of spread of fire and fire extinguishing.