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Farmers, landowners urged to remove dry grass to prevent fires

By Hana Namrouqa - Apr 16,2016 - Last updated at Apr 16,2016

In this 2015 photo, Civil Defence Department personnel extinguish a fire that spread over dry grass in a plot of land in Amman (Photo by Hana Namrouqa)

AMMAN — Authorities on Saturday urged people to rid their farms and backyards of dry grass, stressing that it starts the majority of fires during summer.

In this time each year, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) starts clearing dry grass from traffic islands, street sides, hilltops and empty plots of land around neighbourhoods, Basem Tarawneh, Amman deputy director for districts and environment affairs, said.

“The removal of dry grass at this time of the year is aimed at preventing fires from erupting and also to keep the city clean,” Tarawneh noted.

In addition, people are also advised to start clearing dry grass from their backyards to prevent fires from erupting, according to the Civil Defence Department (CDD).

“In addition to putting out forest fires during summer, the CDD also deals during the hot season with several fires in residential neighbourhoods that are primarily caused by dry grass,” a CDD officer told The Jordan Times over the phone.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Ministry Spokesperson Nimer Haddadin highlighted that dry grass is the fuel of several wild fires every summer, noting that when picnickers fail to properly put out barbeque fires, dry grass spreads flames.

Haddadin said that in addition to the fact that trees easily catch fire because they are surrounded by dry bushes and broken branches, they also contain resin, which makes trees easily flammable.

He underscored that although the number of forest fires are dropping each year, hundreds of centennial forest trees are destroyed annually due to wildfires, which are either deliberately started by illegal loggers or accidentally by picnickers. 

Farmers are also advised to start removing dry grass from their farms to prevent fires from spreading or erupting, Haddadin said, noting that as temperatures start rising, more fires are reported.

The ministry also said that farmers, particularly those owning lands adjacent to the Jordan River, are requested to remove all dry grass to protect their farms from fires.

Farmers who own lands adjacent to the border incur each year huge losses as their trees, crops and infrastructure are burned in fires that start in Israel, and spread to the Kingdom. 

 

Therefore, the ministry urged them to clear dry grass to prevent flames from spreading.

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