16 July 2019
Preventing forest fires is the most important component of the firefighters’ work. Preventive measures are held in two directions:
- Preventing the hot spot emergence.
- Preventing the spread of fire.
Fire-fighters are engaged in constant work for the sake of preventing forest fires. In most cases, the preventive measures are associated with public fire safety education. The rules developed by fire safety services are being introduced to educational institutions and large organizations.
Apart from public fire safety education, fire fighters strictly monitor the situation in the forests: they control young woodland and clean the forest from garbage and windbreaks.
Another important aspect of fire-safety work is creating favorable conditions for the evacuation of people and animals out of the fire area. A network of firebreaks and roads becomes a good barrier to stop the fire from spreading and if necessary to carry out the evacuation successfully.
Measures to prevent the spread of fire
Fire-fighters who guard the forest always remain "behind the scenes". Not many people know it, but in fact, they take a lot of measures to prevent the spread of fire:
- Creating artificial reservoirs - one of the basic preventive measures in the fight against uncontrolled fire. If there are no natural water resources - rivers, lakes – each community, including the newly formed, undertake the arrangements to create at least two reservoirs close to the locality. If it is impossible to fill it naturally, the reservoir is filled and controlled artificially. The reservoir should be easily accessible for the approach of fire-fighting equipment.
- Forestry farms carry out sanitary deforestation regularly in order to prevent the spread of fire towards settlements. Within the framework of such actions any vegetation growing next to settlements is destroyed. This approach implies that even in case of an extensive fire when it approaches a settlement - it stops, because there is no inflammable material – wood – to feed the fire.
- Creating firebreaks involves digging trenches and ditches in the areas that are prone to drought and that are located close to settlements. The width of fire lanes may vary from 1 to 4 m, depending on the surrounding vegetation. The borders are coated with herbicides, so that they do not grow over with vegetation.
- Special mineralized lanes are created on cross-cuts, along the rail- and earth-roads, around windbreaks and dry forest areas, along the borders of settlements and agricultural lands. The width of the mineralized lanes vary from about 1 to 2.5 m.
- Fire traps are designed to stop peat fires. The depth of a fire trap is about 1 or 0.5 m below the groundwater level. The rims and walls are coated with either fire extinguishing agents, or a thin layer of mineral soil. Fire traps should be created as a supplement to natural breaks - rivers, lakes, roads.
- Fire-safe forest skirts are created along the roads, borders of forests, on both sides of cross-cuts. The width of cross-cuts is from 5 to 6 m.
- One of the most effective measures for preventing forest fires is organizing video surveillance of the forest. Modern equipment allows to have non-stop control of the forest, it notifies promptly about the detection of fire, as well as the detection of smoke. Such systems help to designate the seat of fire as quickly and accurately as possible, they help to take all necessary measures to extinguish the fire at its initial stage. Currently it is the most effective approach to fire safety.
A comprehensive approach to the organization of fire-safety measures helps to prevent almost entirely the globalization of forest fires. We can sleep a peaceful sleep meanwhile we are protected by competent and responsible professionals.