Fire Safe Councils to Host Wildland Fire Workshop

03 November 2016

published by http://ramonajournal.com


USA—   Area Fire Safe Councils will present a workshop about "Fire Operations in the Wildland Urban Interface” Nov. 5 at Jeremy’s On the Hill, 4354 Highway 78, in Julian. The event is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with sign-in at 8 a.m.

Representatives from the Los Angeles County Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service will offer in-depth training about the principles used by firefighters in suppressing wildland fires and protecting structures. Participants will learn about fire behavior prediction and will be equipped to apply this knowledge to the community’s topography, fuels, weather and fire-safe conditions when constructing homes.

Training will include a discussion about evacuation and survival tips, in addition to a field trip to selected homes to do a site assessment.

The course is free, and registration is required at www.firesafesdcounty.org. Lunch will be provided. Contact 619-562-0096.

The workshop is being hosted by the Wynola Estates, Ramona West End and Intermountain Fire Safe Councils and administered by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County in partnership with the Fire Safe Council of San Diego County. Funding is provided through an agreement with the Cleveland National Forest and a National Fire Plan grant from the Cooperative Fire program of the U.S. Forest Service through the California Fire Safe Council.

Government has urged Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers who are deployed to guard Viphya Plantation against destruction to be vigilant by dealing with the perpetrators accordingly.
Msaka (left) walking in the plantantion

Msaka (left) walking in the plantantion

Minister of Mines, Energy and Natural Resources, Bright Msaka, made the statement Tuesday after touring the plantation, especially areas under the jurisdiction of Total Land Care and Raiply Malawi Limited.

Incidences of fire destroying numerous hectares of trees every year have been a never-ending song for the Viphya Plantation for over a decade now. The plantation is shared by two districts of Mzimba and Nkhata Bay.

However, the issue has raged on in spite of efforts by government and its stakeholders to plant trees and guard them against destruction. Reports have indicated that more often, the fires that destroy the plantation are deliberately set rather than accidental.

The minister said government is aware that some disgruntled workers and individuals whose licences were cancelled are the ones setting fires in the plantation.

“People need to know that this is a national asset, so if the department of forestry has denied somebody a licence for the reasons best known by the department, they are supposed to understand instead of setting fires,” he said.

To mitigate the challenge, Msaka said government deployed MDF soldiers in protected forests across the country as a way of scaring people from destroying the plantations.

In spite of the effort, some people are still setting parts of the Viphya Forest on fire, regardless of the size of trees.

“We have directed the Malawi Defence Force solders to deal with anyone setting bush fires and operating in the forest without licences and that the law will take its course [against them],” he warned.

However, Msaka commended Raiply Malawi Limited and Total Land Care for utilizing the forest sustainably and adding value to the trees from the forest.

“In the past, we have been cutting trees or sawing and selling them abroad at a very cheap price. We behaved like a prodigal son who squandered all what his father gave him.

“We need to be very careful and be proud of what we inherited so that we can benefit from it and pass on those benefits to the next generation,” advised the minister.

Earlier, Chief Executive Officer of Raiply Malawi Limited, Thomas Oomen, cited bush fires and encroachment as major challenges facing his company.

“This year alone, we have lost about 526 hectares [of trees] to bush fires, unfortunately, most of  these trees are below 15 years old but they are supposed to be harvested at the age of 25. This is dooming our future,” said Oomen.

Chikangawa Forest consists of seven plantations comprising 53,000 hectares.

- See more at: http://www.nyasatimes.com/minister-msaka-warns-perpetrators-fire-viphya-forest/#sthash.5gaV0MIe.dpuf