EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FIRE
Any strategy of prevention and fight against fire, however valid in its inspiring principles, is destined to fail if not supported by the participation of the people, both in terms of convictions and material actions.
Hence the need to indicate some guidelines aimed at integrating the fire prevention organizational plan, especially when the study of the causes of the phenomenon leads us to believe that the human behavior, whether intentional or negligent (83.5%), is at the origin of the spread of forest fires and the destruction of the delicate environmental balance.
Therefore, the following considerations apply
- The preservation and protection of the woods are today closely connected to the degree of civilization of men, their culture and sensitivity.
In fact, the prohibitions and sanctions, the technologically advanced fighting systems, or other initiatives adopted, are found to be insufficient in the presence of a social conscience that is not very attentive to the needs of the environment.
- The defense of the forest and trees is now almost exclusively connected to the quality of the relationships that man is able to establish with the environment. In this regard, the work of raising awareness among the populations and informing citizens, even with the involvement of the mass media, will never be fully effective if it does not aim to create a culture of forest heritage protection understood as an essential asset that belongs to the same community.
It is therefore necessary to give an opportune impulse to all those actions of an informative and formative nature that contribute to the growth of a culture of the environment and of the forest, promoting the awareness that men and trees belong to the same natural context.
- The inattention to this latter interest and value (the forest today has a more public than private, more general than local, more cultural than material, more ecological than economic) often attributable to neglect, lack of attention and education, superficial knowledge of the forest and its environmental significance, in not rare cases it hides speculative aims that should, always and everywhere, be opposed, taking into account the prohibition pursuant to art. 9 of the law 1 March 1975, n. 47 and similar regional provisions on the matter.
The aforementioned law prohibits the establishment of buildings of any kind in wooded areas destroyed or damaged by fire, also preventing such areas from taking on a different destination from that before the fire.
The legal protection was later integrated by the Galasso Law, n. 431 of 8 August 1985, which subjects wooded lands crossed by flames to the landscape constraint.
- The materials resulting from agriculture or the cleaning of the woods, straws, once resources to be used in livestock farms, are now considered only a waste to be destroyed by fire.
From these fires scattered in the countryside, a substantial number of so-called "involuntary" fires originate, attributable, like the burning of stubble, especially in southern Italy, to the same worrying tendency to disinterest and inattention to natural resources.
A more assiduous vigilance on the observance of the state and regional regulations which prohibit such operations in the periods of maximum risk for fires, would certainly limit the proportion of the phenomenon.
- Today the image of the forest as an element of the landscape and tourist attraction has been promoted, causing the effect of an increase in mass mobility and human presence within the wooded complexes.
A presence, often, which translates into devastating and polluting actions, through irresponsible behaviors, such as lighting fires and abandoning waste in the woods; a presence, many times, little aware of the value of the natural resources from which it benefits and unable to understand the meaning and importance of the role they play in the territorial context, nor the level of productivity that these resources reach both in terms biomass and services provided to society.
- The analysis of the percentage incidence of fires on the type of property and the type of forest burned highlights how the areas affected by the greatest aggressions are those in which private property and the presence of coppice coexist, a type of forest most frequently destined for abandonment. .
If we add to this information the consideration that almost 30% of the fires occur in the inner hill areas and about 34% in the inner mountain ones, it is possible to argue that the recurring frequency of fires is also related to the complex of problems that hinder the correct recovery of the same areas.
The factors that make a forest vulnerable to fire are no different from those that contribute to determining the economic and social marginality of the territorial context of which it belongs. The forest, in fact, is increasingly configured as a site destined to be touched by the same dangerous environmental fragility of the territory that includes it.
- The analytical study of the phenomenon shows that many fires occur along railways, roads and highways, starting from escarpments and ditches often affected by easily flammable vegetation, or along the tracks and paths that go into the woods.
These fires can be prevented both with actions aimed at making man's behavior more aware and responsible, and with supervisory interventions by the competent Administrations.
- For the prevention of voluntary fires, which often take the form of vandalism or blackmail to institutions, it is appropriate to implement all measures aimed at reducing social tensions that could degenerate into the use of fire.
- Today, fire interventions are entrusted to highly trained personnel and to the use of land and air vehicles.
To be discouraged is the morbid curiosity with which people usually passively witness the fire, as if the fire itself constitutes a spectacle.
Although it cannot be hidden that the fire arouses spectacular emotions, it is true that it is a desolating picture in which a part of nature, of our history, of our culture are consumed and a natural heritage that is difficult to reconstitute in its original is destroyed. ecological complexity.
It is therefore essential that in the course of a fire everyone works to collaborate with the forestry workers and with those in charge of extinguishing tasks, refraining from any hindrance or disturbance.
Anyone who discovers a fire that has attacked or threatens to attack a forest is required to give the alarm so that the extinguishing work can be immediately started.
The telephone numbers of the Forestry Offices are disseminated in all Regions.
Failing these, you can call the NATIONAL NUMBER 1515 which puts you in contact with the Operations Center of the State Forestry Corps.
N.B. The information reported was elaborated from the news published by the State Forestry Corps