Children ski mountings in the forest destroyed by fire-prevention furrows, 2007

Events, facts, documents and evidences: Small sandy hills are next to the village of Kamenyuki, the administrative centre of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", in a pine forest called "Shnipovka". Local children used this place to ski and toboggan in the winter period. Their cheerful hubbub was often hearing from there.

In summer this area is often used by adults for picnics and outdoors evening parties that creates a higher risk of the fire ignition in the forest. To prevent it, a long-adopted method of making fire-prevention ground strips is applied in the forestry. For this purpose a tractor with ploughs creates deep furrows which isolate or limitthe fire spreading deep into the forest in case it occurs.

In 2007 the local forest administration has renewed fire-prevention furrows. According to information from the locals, a tractor operator "has overdone" and has made new furrows. As a result of this, children ski mountings have got under ploughs and have become unfit for winter skiing.

Only one explanation can be for this case - last years many strangers and casual people who do not know the local traditions and are not good familiar with features of this or that local areas have appeared in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The locals state an opinion that it was done deliberately to cause much harm to children. However, most likely, the true reason goes from the management of the forest area which insufficiently instructed the tractor operator before the works' execution.

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(Fire-prevention furrows made well; compartment 946, July 31, 2008)
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(Fire-prevention furrows made on children ski mountings; compartment 946, July 31, 2008)