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Even a tiny spark a hazard to forests

2016-06-01

Today, according to the data available to the Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service under the Ministry of Environment, the national forests are exposed to fire hazard. Most of the forests are placed in class 3 fire hazard class (moderate hazard), while some areas in the Southern and Eastern Lithuania fall in class 4 hazard class (severe hazard). The same fire hazard is expected tomorrow.

According to Kęstutis Trečiokas, the Minister of Environment, “As for the forest enterprises, now exposed to fire hazard due to hot and dry weather, the foresters there can only sleep with their eyes open. It was due to their efforts that any significant accidents were successfully prevented both in 2015 and 2016”.

Latest fire safety system is now employed to ensure fire protection of forest. Forest enterprises use operators of overhead automatic forest fire monitoring system for forest observation purposes. Every forest enterprise has a duty fire-fighting squad ready to respond to an alarm and make an on-site visit. In 2016, such teams and officials of forest enterprises have responded to over 190 reports on forest fires.

According to the data available to the Directorate General of State Forests under the Ministry of Environment, there were 6 fire forests reported in the forests nationwide last week. The fire damaged forest area of 0.74 ha. Since the early 2016, there were a total of 36 forest fires reported in the area of 7.8 ha. Last year, there were 47 forest fires reported in the same period (in the area of 10.4 ha).

According to Kęstutis Trečiokas, the Minister of Environment, the whole efforts of the foresters to ensure forest safety can be for nothing, if a single burning cigarette butt or glass shard is tossed carelessly. All it takes to start a fire is a tiny sparkle on a dry forest floor.

The Ministry of Environment urges the general public to take extra care and protect the green national asset, and in the event of fire, fight it right away: beat the area on fire using branches, clothes, or feet, pour water, or cover with ground. Should this not work, call 112, the single emergency number, immediately.

Communication Division
01/06/2016


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas