AKUT Foundation compiled what needs to be done in forest fires with its expert trainers.
Here's what to do in case of fire: “Report” We should call 112 the moment we see a forest fire. We must inform the authorities of the location where the fire occurred, with a clear and understandable description as much as possible. If we have a chance to send a location with our phone, we must forward the location of the area to the authorities. After the call is over, we should use the battery of our phone sparingly.
“Intervent if you can”
If the fire is at the stage where we can intervene on our own, we should extinguish the fire with lots of green branches. If the ground is suitable, sprinkling earth on the fire will also help us extinguish the flames. Even if the flames are gone, we must make sure that the fire is completely extinguished.
"If you can't put it out, get away from there immediately"
In cases where we are confident that our response will be insufficient, we should try to remain calm and get out of there quickly, immediately after notifying the authorities and sharing the digital location of the area. When determining the route we will use for escape, we must decide according to the type of terrain where the fire occurred. If we are exposed to heavy smoke while escaping, we should cover our mouth and nose with a wet cloth if possible, otherwise a dry cloth.
“If we caught the fire in the flat area”
We must determine the direction of the wind immediately. If the wind is blowing in our direction, we should take the wind behind us and run quickly to the nearest open area. If we have to pass near the fire and the surface of the burning area is not very large, we should control the right and left arms of the fire and leave the area where the flames are less. We should definitely not move towards the center of the fire.
“If we caught the fire in the valley”
Since air flow occurs in the valleys with the wind, the fire will draw a route upwards from the valley floor with the effect of the wind. In such a situation, we must run in the opposite direction of the wind, descend to the lower parts of the valley and quickly reach the nearest open area. We should definitely avoid using the valley slopes where the fire continues as an escape route.
“If we were caught on rough terrain by fire”
Since the ridges and backs of the ridges are the regions where the wind loses its effect or the winds blowing in the opposite direction show themselves, they are the most suitable protection areas in the short term. For this reason, in case of fires we encounter on rough terrain, we must first move to the back of the nearest ridge, and then run quickly towards the nearest open area in the opposite direction of the fire.
“If we were caught in the fire by the creek”
We should avoid creating an escape route parallel to the stream beds, as the flames tend to move faster in narrow stream beds and box stream beds parallel to the angle.
“If we caught the fire in the canyon”
If the wind is behind us and the fire is in front of us, the flames will move towards the narrow side of the canyon, as the canyon will act as a chimney. For this reason, we must quickly run to the opposite direction of the flames and descend to the widest part of the canyon as much as possible. While escaping, we should pay attention to the rock fragmentation and tree falling that may occur due to overheating, especially we should walk by protecting our heads. If it is not possible for us to advance in the canyon, and if it is available in the vicinity, we should take shelter in the closed or partially closed cave chambers. While taking shelter in the cave rooms, we should avoid going on an unknown route.
“If we were caught in the fire at the resort”
We must leave the area by following the warnings of the authorities in the closest and safest way.
If the area where we caught the fire is by the sea and the roads are closed, we should create our route according to the wind. If the wind is blowing from the sea to the land, we should stay by the sea and wait to be rescued. If the wind is blowing from the land to the sea, if the roads are closed and there is no other route to escape, we can enter the sea up to a certain level. If tongues of flame form on the surface of the water, it will increase our chances of survival if we go under the water with our whole body and wait as long as we can hold our breath.
“If we were in the middle of the fire”
In cases where we have completely lost the possibility of escaping, if there is a hole around, it should go into it; If there is no pit, we should go to the widest flameless area and dig a pit as deep as possible and go into it. Sprinkling the moist soil that comes out at this time, due to its protective function, will increase our chances of survival. If it is possible to cover our face with a damp cloth, we should cover our entire face, so that we are protected as much as possible from the emitted gas.
If we are interested in nature sports and other nature activities, it is of great importance that we provide heat-resistant fire blankets, heat-resistant 1-2 m² tarpaulins and masks to be with us in such activities. If we are exposed to a fire during such an activity and there is no place to escape, we can create a relatively safe zone for ourselves by entering the pit we will dig and covering it with these heat-resistant materials and wearing our mask.”