You may have seen large areas of Canada ablaze on the news over the last couple of months, with wild fires raging and threatening towns and cities. Large townships have been destroyed, and provide clear evidence of Mother Nature’s ability to strike fast, and with much more venom than man threatens forestation.
What happens, then, when similar situations strike in areas that aren’t so well populated, and don’t have the same technology to scramble into action as the Canadians? We clearly saw how futile their efforts to contain the flames were when the wind wasn’t on their side, and the focus could only be damage limitation. It was only when the winds turned the fire back on itself that the danger could be extinguish once and for all, and even then it was necessary to act as fast as possible even though the project was long term.
In a rain forest, it’s usually unlikely that the environment dries out enough to see these scenes, but it’s not impossible. Fortunately, modern technology has allowed us to create a mobile army of firefighters, but the focus is prevention of fires, rather than reacting to them as they break out.
So, how do you get the trees in such a large area wet? The answer is surprisingly easy – you pressure wash them! If nature doesn’t provide the rain, these are the next best thing!
You can read all about these high pressure washers at www.petrolpressurewashers.com, of course, you have to use the petrol variety because there’s nowhere to plug them into in the outback.
If the worst does happen and a fire gains momentum, we revert to the tried and tested aerial approach using aircraft – it’s much safer than to try and act from the ground, as you can easily find yourself surrounded with no way out. The ideal though is to prevent the start of a fire in the first place.
Where we struggle to predict risk areas is where people get involved. We’ve talked before about human damage, but not in this way. While once it was unusual to see careless tourists anywhere near a rain forest, the world has become a much smaller place, and it’s now not beyond the realms of possibility to see somebody decide it’s a great idea to light a barbecue near dry forests. It’s not difficult to see in hindsight how dangerous that is – not least because that’s how the Canadian inferno is believed to have started.
Our efforts and project goals are primarily focused on reforestation, but hopefully we’ve shed a little light today on why it’s important for us to spend some of our time protecting what we already have, as we can lose a lot of ground to fire very quickly, whereas planting areas that size takes months and years, and for them to grow to maturity takes decades or more.