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Dry grass in forests poses fire hazard amid high temperatures

By Rana Tayseer - May 04,2023 - Last updated at May 04,2023

(JT file photo)

AMMAN — The Jordan Environment Union (JEU) on Wednesday called for swift measures to be taken to remove dry grass in forest areas to curb the possibility of fires.

 Leaving dry grass in forests is dangerous in light of the high temperatures, and it usually contributes to the rapid spread of forest fires because of its flammability, JEU President Omar Shoshan told The Jordan Times on Wednesday.

 This requires the competent authorities to make buffer zones within specific environmental standards so that fires, if they occur, do not spread widely, Shoshan said.  

Firefighting units must be equipped in such regions, especially in critical areas that are difficult to reach, he added.

Volunteers from the local community can also be trained in the firefighting, because they are the closest, and therefore have the fastest response time to any fire incident. The first moments of the fire are crucial in fighting it with high effectiveness and without causing major losses, Shoshan said. 

 Laith Ahmed, who lives near the forests of Ajloun, said that residents often witness forest fires at this time of year due to the dry grass. The fires are usually caused by visitors to the forests, he added.

 Residents in the area try to help every time fires start, but because of the large amount of dry grass, they cannot control the fires, he said.

“Picnickers are also part of the problem, as when they come to these areas, especially during the spring season, they start fires for barbeque. Sometimes this causes huge fires because of the dry grass,” Ahmed added.

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