Fire bans have started
Wildfires constitute a huge problem not only on the mainland but in Zakynthos, too. We have certainly had our share of natural disasters caused by fires in Zakynthos over the years. The fire season starts in May , peaks in July and August and ends in October and during this period any form of fire used in the open is banned.
As we love our Island and its flora and fauna it is up to us to try and help our authorities in protecting it. Being constantly vigilant in dealing with the wildfire menace, one should always focus on prevention. Most fires are caused by people not being careful, a cigarette thrown out the car window perhaps on a drive in the countryside for example, can cause total devastation to our forest land or even worse put human lives at risk.
What can you do to keep your house safe from possible threat?
1)For those who live in forest areas it is very important to have your garden area around your house tidy. It would also be a good idea to create a fire break several metres away from your home, clearing that area of branches, leaves, pinecones and dried grass.
2) we should all prune back our trees and remove any dry branches
3) trees that are leaning on walls etc make sure they are pruned and kept at a low height so that they are not growing on balconies or the roof of your house
4) If you have a chimney, then a good idea would be to cover the top so that if in danger sparks will not go down the chimney, thus causing more damage to your home.
5) don’t put any flammables near your home, that goes for your firewood, it should be away from the home and in a protected area.
Obviously, Zakynthos Informer would strongly advise on getting equipment to help fight the fire if needed and this would be in the form of extinguishers. If you already have them, make sure they are maintained. Make sure you even have a hose long enough to water the area you want to protect, one that is preferably without holes, you would be surprised how many people have been in a situation only discovering when it is too late they cannot supply the water needed to extinguish the fire.
What to do if you see a fire:-
Well the answer is fairly simple, call the fire department on 199. This is the main call center, you will be asked precisely where the location of the fire is so as much detail concerning this would be of great help before you call. You may be asked other questions as well so that our authorities can pinpoint the exact location, they may even ask for a telephone number so you can be contacted if needed.
As the summer season is just around the corner, let’s use these ideas to help protect our Island home , be vigilant, be aware of anyone acting suspicious, remember you could be the one that needs help, so stay alert during this season.