Red alert applies in Antwerp and Limburg's natural areas as drought continues

All natural parks in Antwerp and Limburg province have been labelled with a red alert for possible fire. Local authorities have warned day trippers that it's better not to go walking or cycling in the area, as the risk of a fire is imminent. 

It hasn't been strictly forbidden to go hiking in natural parks such as the Kalmthoutse Heide, but if you do go, stay on the alert and respect the ban for smoking or making fire at all times. Children should never be left alone to play. Fire services are stepping up efforts to monitor the situation; extra staff is being deployed in the watch towers. 

John Otten, a forester at the Kalmthoutse Heide, told the VRT that "we advise against visiting the sites, and if you do go in, try to stay near the edge, and avoid going to the heart of the park." Otten also calls on visitors to help out fire services and park rangers: if they see something suspicious, they should report this immediately.   

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