"Code orange" in Flemish nature reserves due to drought
Since Thursday, "code orange" is in effect in nature reserves in all Flemish provinces due to the persistent drought, the Flemish Nature and Forest agency has announced on its website. Fire brigades are on high alert.
The "code orange" designation will last at least until Monday and may be extended thereafter, depending on the meteorological situation.
"It is very dry and there is a fire risk in nature. Be careful, do not smoke in nature and forest areas. Do not leave children unsupervised in the area. Making fires forbidden", says the Nature and Forest agency.
"It is very dry and there is a fire risk. Be careful, do not smoke in nature and forest areas. Do not leave children unsupervised in the area. Making fires forbidden."
Code orange also means that if a fire breaks out, the fire brigade will step up its response efforts. More material and manpower will be deployed.
The warning applies to all forest and nature areas maintained by the Flemish agency. There is, of course, also an increased risk in all other nature areas. Therefore, the agency is advising the same caution in those areas.
In Wallonia, code red applies for the High Fens region. Certain paths in the nature reserve are closed due to the fire hazard.
Photo shows urban nature reserve Bourgoyen Ossemeersen in Gent © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK