Combating forest fires: knowing what to do

Published on Wednesday 29 May 2019

Crédits : A. Bouissou / Terra
One in two forest fires results from carelessness. For even better fire prevention, there are correct actions and behaviours that should be adopted when in the forest. The Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, is renewing its campaign to prevent forest fires.

Forest fires : prevention and staying safe

Lighting a barbecue, a camp fire, throwing a cigarette out of a car window: all of these actions can start a fire. At present, 80% of fires are started less than 50 metres from homes. And it’s right up close to homes that we should be the most vigilant. Currently, 32 regions are particularly exposed to forest fires, areas in which weather conditions (wind, drought, heat, etc.) can spread fires rapidly and violently. Preventing this kind of hazard requires responsible actions and behaviours and is a matter for both residents and tourists.

 

Forest fires : prevention and staying safe

Forest fires : prevention and staying safe

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Forest fires

If these preventive actions are to be adopted, specifically in summer, the high risk period, fire prevention should be a year-round task, particularly:

  • clearing the brush from around your house: a plot of land with the brush cleared allows fire to pass through without causing much damage and makes fire fighters’ work easier;
  • adapting your house: a building’s design, as well as the way it is modified and maintained, can make it less vulnerable to fire (by using hard-wearing, weather-proof materials, cleaning roofs and gutters, moving dangerous and flammable materials at least 10 metres away).

A national prevention campaign: know which behaviours to adopt

Local actors are very involved and regularly carry out preventive measures. But certain types of behaviour are worth publicising even more. The Ministry for the Ecological and Solidary Transition, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, is launching a national forest fire awareness and prevention campaign at the beginning of June 2019. The goal of this campaign is to publicise advice on what to do in the event of a forest fire, as much to ensure you don’t start of a fire as to be protected from it.