170 forest fires registered this year in Latvia

162 hectares of forest have burned in 170 fires this year, according to May 18 information from the State Forest Service (VMD).

The dry and windy spring, as it is this year, is a catalyst to fire accidents, but most often they are caused by accidents due to people's carelessness.

A few days ago, a very devastating and extensive fire was extinguished in Valmiera municipality with a burned area over 18 hectares. Within a few hours, the fire was extinguished.

The VMD fire protection lawyer Arnis Krastiņš said: “There are new pines planted there, which I suppose will not survive, they will have to be replanted. What about the rest? It may be that nature sorts it out. No doubt the timber is damaged, it will also be seen when sawing years later.”

The fire in the forest in Valmiera municipality Skaņkalne started in three different places, and it is reasonable to suspect it was deliberate.

The experience of other years has shown that fires are most commonly caused by irresponsible behavior by people, for example by lighting fires where not permitted or by discarding cigarette butts.

“There are also tractors that are not equipped with spark retardant tailpipes, including a railway that once helps to ignite the forest [..] There are also short circuits of electricity, there are birds, animals running into wires and catching fire fall to the ground,” said VMD spokesman Krastiņš.

The VMD has detected 170 fires in forests this year, with a total area of 162 hectares.

By April 13 this year, the VMD had recorded 40 forest fires with a total fire-stricken area of 9 hectares.

Meanwhile, in 2021, the service recorded 466 forest fires. The total forest area affected by the fire was 505 hectares.

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