Dominican Republic: Forest Fire in Pico Duarte

Forest Fire in Dominican Republic –  

PicoDuarte, José del Carmen Ariza National Park

23 March 2005

published by: DRSol

Ginnies Headlines for Tuesday, 22 March 2005
Fire in Cordillera Central continues for twelfth day. The spread of the fire has been somewhat contained and now authorities are looking to Puerto Rico for a water bomber aircraft or helicopter which can douse the flames. There is little likelihood of rain on the next few days, according to the National Meteorological Office. Yesterday was World Forest Day, celebrated at the Ministry of the Environment with talks, activities and a Mass. Meanwhile, Senators have asked the Armed Forces to investigate whether the fire was started deliberately.
Just in – Dominican helicopters have been withdrawn from the scene of the fire due to inability to tolerate the heat generated and specialised aircraft have been requested from US. The ‘somewhat contained’ status of the fire decribed earlier is no longer accurate, since the fire is spreading.

Ginnies Headlines for Monday, 21 March 2005
Fire in Cordillera Central continues. Air operations were suspended on Sunday due to lack of visibility. Smoke and mist is drifting as far as San Juan de la Maguana and Constanza. Apparently the forests contain large amounts of ‘pinus occidentalis’ which have a high trementina content, according to El Caribe. Trementina is the fuel used to power hurricane lamps.

Ginnies Headlines for Sunday, 20 March 2005
A group of 70 firefighters and tourists were rescued unharmed in the early hours of Saturday morning. The group had been trapped in the national park near Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central, surrounded by forest fires. The firefighters were trapped when the wind changed direction and whipped up the fires. The tourists were on a practice mountain climb. National Emergency Commission, firefighters, Ministry of Environment, Armed Forces, Red Cross and Civil Defence mounted a combined operation involving 2 helicopters and some 400 people. A smaller forest fire was present in Los Haitses national fire in the north east of the DR.

For further information please see GFMC Update on the Dominican Republic of 21 March 2005.


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