Costa Rica — Forest fires last year razed 32,400 hectares of Costa Rica’s wooded areas equal to the size of about 8,000 U.S. football fields, the National Forest Fire Commission told the daily La Nación.
Most of the fires were started by humans, the commission said. Flyaway sparks from blazing sugarcane fields is one example of how forest fires began.
The report cast a shadow over the high praise earlier this week by researchers from the U.S. universities of Yale and Columbia who listed Costa Rica fifth among the 149 countries on their Environmental Performance Index.
The touristy northwest Guanacaste province was hit the hardest by blazes in 2007, where 28,836 hectares burned down, National Fire Management Program Coordinator Luis Diego Román told the daily.