Minister of Environment Kęstutis Trečiokas explained that the high number of responses was due to a sensitive forest fire detection system. “Sometimes it’s too sensitive and reacts to fog or something like that. But it’s better to check than to miss something,” he said.
On June 23rd, when many Lithuanians will be camping out in nature and lighting fires to celebrate Joninės, the Lithuanian Hydrometeorological Service indicated that most Lithuanian forests would be rated at flammability class 2 or 3, with some forests in the north-eastern area reaching class 4. In Lithuania, forest flammability is rated on a scale from 1 to 5, with class 1 representing no risk and class 5 representing a very high risk.
In the event of a drought, which is possible given the lack of rain and rising temperatures in Lithuania’s forecast, the Ministry of Environment will ask local municipalities to limit how many people visit their forests and potentially use other means as well.
In 2014, forest fires on the Curonian spit burned 117.6 hectares of woodland, and a fire in 2006 burned 235 hectares of forest in Smiltynė.
Deputy minister of the environment Linas Jonauskas said “We’d like to remind people that 99% of fires are due to human interference – discarded cigarette butts or shards of glass, fires lit in unauthorised areas. There can be arson, but that happens less often.”
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