RMK closed access for motor vehicles to Oru Peatland 07.07

On the recommendation of the Estonian Rescue Board, the State Forest Management Centre installed prohibition signs for motor vehicles to avoid and prevent the burning of the new peat surface in Konju Village, Toila Parish, Ida-Viru County. The prohibition signs are installed in six different spots.

“In late May, we installed two temporary prohibition signs in Oru Peatland, but today we have added four stationary signs prohibiting road use for motor vehicles,” Alar Süda, RMK’s Forest Manager in Ida-Viru County, notes. “Hopefully, the signs help to decrease the uncontrolled road use of motorcycles and ATVs on peatlands, through which we can also prevent peat fires.”

The Head of the Surveillance Bureau of Ida-Viru County of the Environmental Board Käthlyn Lizdenis notes that landscape fires can cause extensive environmental damage. “All types of driving outside of the designated roads impacts the environment negatively and careless driving on the peatlands can very easily cause a fire,” Lizdenis explains. “With the installed signs, RMK has clearly informed people that driving motor vehicles on the roads in the woodland is prohibited.

“Extinguishing an extensive wildfire is very time-consuming for the Estonian Rescue Board and requires many resources, and therefore they might not be able to react as fast to accidents that require life-saving action,” Jaak Kirsipuu, the Head of the Prevention Office of the Eastern Rescue Centre, states. “If the Rescue Board’s technology and human resources are used for fighting the fire in the forest, the rescue preparedness in cities and other parishes is bound to diminish.” Kirsipuu also explained that extinguishing a fire that has reached the depths of the peat soil can take weeks because it is hard to find the sources of fire. Thus, preventing these types of fires is crucial and immeasurably cheaper than dealing with the consequences.

According to the information of the Estonian Rescue Board, seven peat fires have taken place on the Ahtme Forest Discrict land in Konju Village, Toila Parish and almost all of the fires were caused by driving with motor vehicles on the peatlands. Last year, there were 10 fires in the Oru Peatland region.

Further information:
Alar Süda
RMK Forest Manager of Ida-Viru County
+372 506 1698

Käthlyn Lizdenis
The Head of the Surveillance Bureau of Ida-Viru County of the Environmental Board
+372 5750 1539