Cuba Increases Forest Fire Control

Cuba increases forest fire control

10 May 2009

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Cuba — Cuba has stepped up its monitoring of fire-risk areas during the ongoing drought season which has seen 307 forest fires so far this year (all extinguished), reported the local press.

Raul Gonzalez, head of the fire control unit of the Cuban National Forest Rangers, told Granma newspaper that since January 7,573 hectares have been damaged by fire, mostly in the provinces of Camaguey, Sancti Spiritus, and Las Tunas, and in the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud.

The period of highest probabilities of fire is from January 1 to May 31, known as the drought season.

Gonzalez said that monitoring and control measures in high-risk areas have been tightened with increased patrols flying over the forests, equipped with fire extinguishers.

In addition, the Cuban Institute of Meteorology has an early alert system in place to help prevent fires, while other institutions collaborate through the Protected Areas System.

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