Guatemala Fire Emergency Assistance Request, 27 June  2001

Fires in Guatemala

27 June 2001

In accordance with the latest forest fire bulletin issued by the National Forest Institute of Guatemala the fire season 2001 summary is a follows:
Readers should observe that there are two seasons in Guatemala, rainy and dry. The rainy season begins in May and ends in October. The dry season begins in November and ends in May. Due to the narrowness of the territory, it is subjected to weather conditions from the Caribbean and from the Pacific Ocean. Thus, there are slight variations in the onset and ending of these seasons depending on the latitude. Additionally, the Petén Province, which comprises Guatemala’s last tropical forest of great magnitude, lies on flat plains and is subjected to the Caribbean influence.

Total number of wildfires: 785, Non-forest fires: 84, Surface area affected: 21,364.29 ha

Types of fires: Surface fires: 20,387.76 ha (95.42%), Crown fires: 959.42 ha (4.49%), Ground fires:17.10 ha (0.08%)

Possible causes: Agricultural burns: 29.04%, Intentional: 26.36%, Undetermined: 24.45%, Fire-wood loggers/collectors: 5.85%, Pasture burning: 3.31%, Trash burn: 3.05%, Bee keepers (honey collectors): 2.29 %, Camp-fires:1.52%, Hunters: 0.89%, Natural causes (lightning):0.25%, Charcoalproducers: 1.01%, Other causes:1.91%

Means to combat fires: Ground suppression: on 986 fires, Aerial combat: 2 (1 flying hour)

Source: Juan Carlos Villagran, GFMC Correspondent, Guatemala

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