Blog Fundación Reforestemos

02.07.13

Fires

When using fire, a few seconds of carelessness is enough to create an irreversible and often devastating situation. A fire always brings negative consequences, especially if it occurs in the middle of nature. In the history of Patagonia, there have been many fires that have caused the loss of thousands of native trees, deforestation, animal movement towards new areas, among other things. The last fire, in the Torres del Paine National Park, began on December 27, 2011
and lasted more than two months, consuming more than 17 thousand hectares of native forest. This occurred because of the carelessness of an Israeli tourist, who tried to start a fire with toilet paper. In the past 25 years, two other major fires were also reported in the park, which were also caused by foreign tourists. The first began on February 10, 1985, when a Japanese visitor discarded a lit cigarette butt, which wiped out nearly 14 thousand hectares. Twenty years later, a Czech tourist used a kitchenette causing a fire that consumed more than 15 000 hectares, of which 11 000 were within the park boundaries. To help with the reforestation of the damaged area, the government of the Czech Republic donated 30 thousand trees. But large fires have plagued the Aysén region since over two centuries ago. In 1870, Spanish, Yugoslav and British started burning more than three thousand acres, resulting in thousands of logs burned in the middle of the vast landscapes of Patagonia. Later the first settlers set fires in order to make the land suitable for livestock and crops, destroying five thousand hectares, ecosystems and accelerating soil erosion. This action took place at the official handover of the land and is responsible for the elimination of 120 hectares of forest each, held by intentional forest fires. Forest fires and arson can be prevented by not being carelessness, but mostly, forest fires are man-caused. Therefore, it is very important to know how to prevent this type of disaster so we, as the new generation, can continue to enjoy the richness of nature. Note the following recommendations CONAF gave:

If you make a fire outdoors, never do it under trees or near bushes. Choose another place, in the pasture and surround it with stones so that the fire does not spread. When you no longer need it, dispose of it well with water and / or soil.
Never throw away cigarette butts or matches on roads, trails or other places when travelling.
If you need to burn agricultural and forestry residues, remember that there are alternatives to the fire. If you still need to burn them, first tells CONAF officials.

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