It is the season of Tomb Sweeping Festival. 1,008 wildfires related to tomb sweeping have been recorded in Taiwan between Feb 27 and Mar 14. National Fire Agency (NFA) would like to exploit this opportunity to remind all citizens of “2 does and 4 don’ts” while visiting the cemeteries. We are in a drought and water is scares. We need to work together to prevent fire, reduce air pollution and maintain an environment of good quality.
According to NFA, between the 16 days from Mar 22 to Apr 6 during the tomb sweeping season in 2020, 1,150 cemetery-related wildfires were recorded through Taiwan; people started to visit cemeteries since the long holidays of Mar 28 this year in 2021, and the data from Feb 27 up to Mar 14, there have been 1,008 cemetery-related wildfires in Taiwan. The fires spread very quickly, since it is dry due to the ongoing draught. These fires not only make firefighter excessively busy, but also generate air pollutions.
As an effort against cemetery fires, there are “2 dos and 4 don’ts” while sweeping tombs; don’t set fire on weeds; don’t throw away unextinguished cigarette butts; don’t let paper offerings scattered; don’t light any firecrackers; do put out embers; and do take away your garbage. In addition, NFA would like to ask all citizens to burn as little incents and paper offerings as possible, or given them to the cemetery management to burn them for you. Also, environment-friendly firecrackers are recommended in place of traditional one, as they not only serve the same purpose of remembering the deceased, but also prevent fires from happening and maintain a good air quality.
NFA urges people to stay calm when, unfortunately, a fire does breakout. Just call 119 and local fire department will soon respond. People may try to put out the fire with whatever source of water at hand if it is not significant. However, if the fire has spread beyond control, just evacuate from the scene, call fire department, point the direction for them and stay where it is safe and away from any harm.