Forest fires may become the “norm of life”

The report of the UN Environment Program on negative factors in the development of the ecological situation of the planet says that climate warming, combined with changes in land use, could lead to an increase in the number of devastating forest fires in different regions of the world in the coming decades.

This will potentially create pockets of air smoke that are dangerous to human health and other problems that the governments of states are ill-prepared to deal with. The western United States, northern Siberia, central India, and the east coast of Australia are already seeing a marked increase in fires, and could increase by more than 50% by the end of this century.

It’s time for earthlings to “learn to live with fires,” experts say, emphasizing that even in regions that are usually “immune” from large fires – such as the Arctic, for example – “most likely, rampant fire will also be observed.” In the danger zone are the tropical forests of Indonesia and the Amazon Valley in South America.

Scientists accuse many states of spending too much effort and money on extinguishing fires and not enough on preventing them. Now about half of all funds go directly to fighting fires, and only 1% – to measures to prevent them. They propose a radical change in the distribution of funds: 50% of the funds should go to planning, preparation and prevention, 30% to extinguishing and 20% to reforestation.

The United States recently unveiled a fire risk reduction program that is expected to spend $50 billion over ten years. Efforts will focus primarily on thinning forests around hotspots where nature and residential areas collide.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 0 dated November 30 -0001

Newspaper headline:
planet on fire

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