?Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of forests to wildfires ?

Public cautioned on use of fires during harmattan season

The public has been cautioned on the use of fires, with the on-set of the harmattan season.

This is because a spark igniting into a huge fire, easily happens in a dry atmosphere with very little moisture.

Madam Felicity Ahafianyo, Acting head of Central Analysis and Forecasting Office, Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMET), told the Ghana News Agency that people such as smokers, cooks, as well as those who use fire for farming activities among others, had to take precautions to prevent fire outbreaks.

She urged drivers to be extra careful and drive within speed limits because the foggy weather conditions that characterize the harmattan season, reduced visibility.

Madam Ahafianyo said speeding drivers could easily crash into unexpected stationary objects on the road such as parked and broken-down vehicles.

Touching on the weather, she said, the dry harmattan winds has from today, Monday December 23rd, started to blow over the East Coast which is Accra and parts of the coast of the Volta Region.

She said there is no expectation of rainfall in the country during the week, despite some cloud formation over the western coast of the country.

Touching on the current increased atmospheric heat, Madam Ahafianyo said, temperatures could reduce with the onset of the harmattan, because dust particles which typically accompany the harmattan season, reflected the rays of the sun and in effect, reduced atmospheric temperature.

She said when there is no cloud formation, coupled with the absence of dust in the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays, heat from the sun hit the earth surface directly without any reflection, which increased temperatures.

The current development means the entire country is now experiencing the harmattan season, Madam Ahafianyo said.

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