Every year, there are fire danger periods in forest and nature areas, when the weather is hot and it has not rained for a long time. The most fire-prone areas are heathland and coniferous forest.
A forest fire can have a natural cause (e.g. lightning during a thunderstorm) or be caused by people (e.g. arson, a poorly controlled barbecue, throwing cigarette butts on the ground).
- Inform yourself about the fire risk and the colour code (green, yellow, orange, red) on https://www.natuurenbos.be/waarschuwingen or on the website of the municipality or the nature reserve.
- Observe the regulations and guidelines posted on the edge of the forest.
- Do not block the forest roads with your car.
- Do not smoke in a forest or make a fire, such as a barbecue or a campfire.
- Always take a mobile phone with you when you go to a forest or nature area.
Do you live near a forest?
- Call 112 immediately if you notice a fire or if someone is in danger.
- Close windows and doors.
- Do not evacuate on your own initiative. Wait for the recommendations of the government.
- Turn off the electricity and gas when you leave the house.
- Get yourself to safety. Follow the existing paths.
- Call 112 as soon as possible or use the 112 app. Try to give your location as accurately as possible. The best way to do this is by using landmarks (paths, moors, watchtowers, car parks, etc.).
- Do you not have a mobile phone (or coverage)? Evacuate as quickly as possible and speak to people you encounter.
- Do not enter the area without permission from the emergency services.
What does the government do?
The Flemish Agency for Nature and Forests and the Walloon Public Service for the Environment monitor the risk of forest fires on a daily basis. In the event of increased danger, they take the necessary measures in consultation with the fire services, e.g. manning fire towers, prohibiting access to an area, etc.
In the event of a wildfire, local and provincial authorities apply their general emergency and intervention plan or a special emergency and intervention plan for wildfires.