All you have to know to not cause a forest fire.
Fires are a lamentable problem that afflicts our country during the summer months. Between October and April the high temperatures added to the carelessness of negligent people increase the probability that our forests and the National Parks that protect them will ignite in fire.
As reported by the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), 99.7% of fires start with human carelessness, including agricultural practices and intentional acts. Causing a forest fire is a crime with penalties of up to 20 years in prison, but still there are citizens and tourists who do not know how to avoid this type of natural disaster.
We love Chile, so we want to invite you to take care of its wonderful flora and fauna following these simple tips published by CONAF.
How to prevent forest fires
Avoid smoking in places with vegetation that can burn (eg dry vegetation)
Never throw cigarette butts or matches to the ground because they could cause a forest fire.
Do not light fires in areas close to vegetation. Also, do not handle other sources of heat such as candles or incense.
If it is absolutely necessary to make a bonfire, follow the following steps:
- Make it in a clear place where there are no branches, trees or elements that can ignite in fire.
- Dimit the area of fire with sand, stones or ditches to prevent it from spreading.
- Have items to put out the fire like sand, dirt or water.
How to avoid a forest fire if you live near vegetation
Do not leave any material that can burn (such as trash or branches) in the vicinity of homes.
Find out about the presence of nearby water reserves and the operation of faucets in the area.
What to do in case of a forest fire?
If the fire has already spread, take the following steps:
If you see smoke or fire in areas of vegetation, notify:
Conaf - 130
Firefighters - 132
Carabineros - 133
PDI - 134
If evacuation is indicated, cut off the electricity in your house and close the gas stopcocks.
Keep calm and follow the instructions of the response teams.
Cover your mouth and nose with a damp cloth so you do not inhale smoke.
Pay attention to the behavior of fire and wind because fire can change direction quickly depending on these variables.
If you have the possibility, walk near shallow open waters that could serve as evacuation routes.
Do not return to the burned area until the authorities arrange it. The fire can be reactivated.
Fine for causing a forest fire in Chile
According to the Forestry Law, modified in 2013.
By setting fire or using artifacts with fire in places where fines are prohibited can reach up to 2 million pesos and three years in prison.
For those who provoke a forest fire, the penalties range from fines of more than 8 million pesos to five years of effective prison.
If fire is used in spaces not allowed in Wild Protected Areas (ASP) without causing fire, the person could be sanctioned up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to more than 2 million pesos (50 UTM).
If you cause a forest fire in a protected area, such as a national park, a reserve or a natural monument, the penalties go up to 5 years in prison and a fine of more than 9 million pesos (200 UTM).
If it is found that the fire was caused intentionally, they risk penalties between 5 and 20 years in prison.
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