Long Drought May Ignite Cuban Forests

Long Drought May Ignite Cuban Forests

10February 2005

publishedby www.plenglish.com 

Havana, Feb 10 (Prensa Latina) 

Cuba is concerned about possible forest fires because of a serious drought which has extended for months.

Forest Rangers said the critical period of possible forest fires will be extended to June 30 due to the long dry spell. Under normal conditions this period concludes on April 30, but poor rainfall over the last three years has caused experts to extend the season and maximize measures to prevent disasters.

“Cuban forests are facing a serious situation, since dry leaves and grass can combust anytime. This condition can whip a small flame into a fierce fire,” said Manuel Lama Gómez, chief of the Forest Warden Department.

Analysts say the average temperature in Cuba has increased 0.5 Celsius degrees because of climate changes and other environmental problems causing by global warming.

The use of water for any activity has been reduced, even if the firefighters need it to put out a possible fire. Tankers have to fill up in distant places in case of a fire.

The drought is an issue that has been affecting the Island for many years but it became critical in 2004, mainly in the western part of the country.

Manuel Lama Gómez urged people to take all possible measures to prevent a forest fire.


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