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Red alert for all natural areas in Flanders as from tomorrow

The Flemish Nature and Foresty Agency (Natuur en Bos) has issued a red alert for all natural areas in Flanders as the risk of wildfires increases due to the scorching heat in combination with the prolonged drought. With the peak of the heat wave only expected on Saturday and Sunday, the red alert may be maintained for some time. 

The red alert is an upgrade from the present amber alert and implies the following:

  • Entering natural areas is being advised against (though it is not prohibited). "We understand that woodlands are cool places where people may seek refuge from the heat wave. We advise ramblers to choose a forest where it is easy to find your way and to get out if things would go wrong", says Jelle De Wilde of Natuur en Bos. 
  • It is prohibited to make fire or to smoke. 
  • Don't leave any garbage behind (this is always the rule, but now it is of vital importance as a simple piece of glass may cause a fire.  
  • Watch towers will be staffed as much as possible, fire services are ready to intervene with extra tools if necessary. 

Though there have been small blazes here and there, Flanders has been spared so far. Natuur en Bos is calling on everybody to "use common sense". 

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