As a part of our project we decided to take a survey at our school just to discover how informed about forest fires our schoolmates are.
We asked them for their opinions about Eleftheroupolis' forest fire and we compared the results with the information that we collected in the interviews and our remainder sources. We intend to present in May the results of the survey to the students, when all classes are showing their projects in a ceremony.
352 out of the 400 students took part in the survey. Ages vary from 13 to 16 years. A sample questions-sheet of the survey appears in the next picture:
The results, our comments and the correct answers are presented in the following graphs.
The correct answer is the number 199 (in Greece), but we discovered that almost 50% did not know the correct number of the Fire Department. The reason for this could be the lack of information and education offered to students about forest fires.
92% of students believe that forest fires are due to human not to natural causes. This belief is probably due to the mass media because they often report the fires started by malicious arsons. This belief is however correct because the main causes of forest fires are human activities.
According to our information gathered at the interview with the Fire Department it will take about 25 to 30 years for the burnt forest to re-establish itself. Nevertheless, the majority believe that the affected area will be restored in a maximum of 20 years.
The answer to this question was rather easy because 89% of the students gave the correct answer and they would react properly in a similar case. But it is a sobering thought about what the rest of the 11% will do?
The correct answer is that we should never start a fire even under optimal conditions. Fires can quickly get out of control with dramatic consequences. Unfortunately a relatively high percentage (74%) of the students are not informed about the risks of such actions.
There was a medium scale of damage after Eleftheroupoli's forest fire, fact that students also discovered. However, the burnt landscape that the fire left behind will be re-established in more than 20 years.
With the above two questions we wanted to find out how responsible students feel about forest fires and whether they are willing to help in the restoration of the damaged areas.
It seems that opinions are divided. In the question about who should help in restoration half believe that the state and the European Union is responsible, and the other half believe that all citizens must help.
Most (72%) believe that the state must find ways and strategies to prevent forest fires. Only 26% say that fire prevention should be based on more information and education of citizens.
In conclusion, we would say that our classmates are aware of some facts and they realize that humans are responsible for most forest fires. However, they seem not willing to help in the re-establishment of burnt areas.
In basic questions the students answered incorrect. This fact shows that more information and education about forest fires is necessary. With the development of this project (and the presentation that will follow to the students and hopefully to their parents) we hope to contribute in educating citizens and hopefully help in preventing future forest fires.