Due to climate change, the number of forest fires increases every year, the fire-prone areas become larger and the fire-prone periods last longer. The harmful consequences of forest fires have a devastating effect, such as:
- An average of 300 fatalities each year due to forest fires, in recent year these numbers are even significantly higher. In 2017 in Portugal alone on two occasions nearly 100 people died.
- In addition each year 340.000 premature deaths are caused by inhaling smoke from forest fires. The health of millions of people is affected by forest fires.
- NASA Earth Observatory reports: Today, an estimated 5.6 gigatons of carbon are released into the atmosphere each year due to fossil fuel burning. Burning of tropical forests contributes another 2.4 gigatons of carbon per year; or, about 30 percent of the total. (Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store it for decades or even hundreds of years. Once these trees burn in a forest fire, the CO2 of all these years is released again).
- Worldwide each year on average 20 million hectares of forest are lost to forest fires, and this number is increasing rapidly during the last decade.
- In the US alone the annual financial damage caused by forest fires is more than 200 billion US dollars, divided between the federal government, the various states and the competent forest management authorities.
After the implementation of the SCODEV scooping device in only 25 percent of the non-amphibious airtankers, the dropping capacity will increase by 100 percent and thus all of the above losses will decrease by 50 %. This means:
- Fatalities will decrease by 50 % or 150 victims
- Premature deaths will decrease by 50 % or 170.000 lives
- CO2 emission caused by forest fire will decrease by 50 % or 1.2 gigatons
- The loss of forests by forest fires will decrease by 50 % or 10 million hectares
- Financial losses will decrease by 50 % or over 100 billion US dollars
Causes of forest fire
- Forest fires are caused by a number external events, 9 out of 10 caused by humans
- Agricultural activities like burning grass-gorse or stubble
- Throwing of burning cigarettes and or matches
- Lighting of fires in restricted areas
- Burning of wastes and garbage at non-authorized landfill sites
- Military exercises
- Hunting activities
- Residential activities like the use of electrical tools that cause sparks and burn of wastes.
- Short-circuit of power lines
There are four main lines of reducing the financial, economical, environmental and ecological damages of forest fires:
- Early warning system
- RestorationOur expertise lies in the field of suppression and more specific in aerial suppression