The head of the forest fire prevention at the Honduran Forest Development Corporation reported yesterday that forest fires have devoured ca. 12,500 hectares of forest since the rains stopped in late February. Smoke from the fires covered swathes of Honduras in an acrid haze as the blazes burned twice as much land this month as they did in March 1999. Since the dry season began at the end of February, 12,500 hectares of forest have been burned. More than 400 fires have been registered. In the same time-period last year, around 6,000 hectares burned. Arsonists were blamed for the fires because farmers don’t start slash-and-burn blazes until April. Last year was relatively wet, and the number of fires throughout the region was low. The head of the forest fire prevention at the Honduran Forest Development Corporation also said the land in Honduras burned in 1999 totalled ca. 55,000 hectares, compared to ca.100,000 hectares in 1998.
These information were extracted from a Planet Ark/Reuters News Service source.
Fig.1. Overall fire situation in Yucatan (México), Guatelama, Honduras and Nicaragua on 30 March 2000 (Source: NOAA/OSEI).