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Forestry Department in urgent appeal for vigilance after spike in fires

June 7, 2019 at 1:10pm
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Following a spike in the number of fires in rural areas in recent days, the Forestry Department on Friday appealed to the public to be particularly careful.

The announcement came as fire fighters battled a blaze in the Salamiou area.

The Forestry Department urged the public to avoid any actions or activities that may lead to fires and called for their cooperation.

Farmers who have not already harvested their grains or have not yet removed the stubble should do so the earliest possible. It was also important for fields close to roads or forest areas be ploughed over an area of 10 metres, thereby restricting the possibility of a fire spreading.

The public should be particularly careful, avoid lighting fires and not discard cigarette stubs. The burning of grass, branches and rubbish is prohibited,  The use of tools or agricultural equipment which produce sparks or flames should be avoided, it added. Anyone planning to use such equipment are urged to inform the closest fire station or forest station. Care must be made to avoid fires from water pumps in the countryside by removing any flammable material and ensuring any evaporation goes to a ditch.

Because fires  which start from holiday homes are among the most destructive, everyone should be particularly careful ensuring that the BBQ and oven fully comply with the conditions set by the Forestry Department. Work should not be carried out by third parties without supervision, it added.

Finally, it reiterated its appeal for cooperation, Anyone who sees smoke or fire close to or in a forest should immediately contact the closest forest station or telephone 1407.