“The best strategy in the battle against these fires is prevention”, said the CMPC Forest and Timber manager, Eduardo Hernández. That is why the company, as it does every year, has made resources available to take preventive action and to carry out campaigns for the prevention of forest fires together with the local community.
For 2020-2021, CMPC has assigned around 31 million dollars for the prevention and fight against forest fires in the country, committed to the care and safeguarding of Chile’s forests.
The company’s plans consist of allocating its investment into three lines of prevention: preventive forestry, community prevention, and the use of cutting-edge technology.
When it comes to battling fires tools and equipment play a key role. That is why the company has put its efforts into fighting the fires with cutting edge technology to deal with these emergencies as best as possible: it has two Tecnam P2006T planes with optical and infrared cameras, nine AT-802 planes with water tanks which are able to release 3 thousand litres of water per aircraft, eight medium Bell 212-412 helicopters, each with a 1,200 litre Bambi Bucket, and two heavy Chinook CH-47D helicopters, which are unbeatable when it comes to fighting forest fires thanks to their efficiency and accuracy.
The company has also acquired other firefighting instruments such as Wildfire Analyst, a software which can simulate a fire’s behaviour in different circumstances, as well as the use of drones. At the start of 2020 semiautomatic detection cameras which send 360° coverage and analysis every two minutes were also implemented, they have a range and an optimum precision of up to 15 kilometres.
99.7% of fires in Chile are caused by individuals, whether it be by negligence or intent. That is why the company has embarked on undertaking preventive work within the communities in which it has a presence, and which is why, along with Conaf, it has set up educational programmes in regions ranging from Maule to Los Ríos, embracing a network of cooperative work.
Furthermore, this year the company has a total of 41 brigades made up of over one thousand members. Among these brigades are airborne crews, land brigades, water tank brigades, mechanical, and interface brigades. Additionally, this year there will also be supporting the central regions of our country, with vastly experienced teams in the fight against forest fires, this will include the Central Brigade from CMPC. This will comprise of 8 people who will mobilise a vehicle carrying 2 thousand litres of water to prevent and fight fires in those areas bordering the Metropolitan Area.