A dozen fires hit Saipan over weekend

A dozen fires hit Saipan over weekend

08 June 2010

published by www.saipantribune.com

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) — True to the recent warning of the National Weather Service in Guam about severe grass fire hitting the CNMI, a dozen grass fires broke out across Saipan this past weekend.

Firefighters were busy responding to bush fires on island on Saturday and Sunday.

The Division of Fire disclosed that more grass fires occurred on Saturday, while eight others happened on Sunday.

No one was reported injured in those fires.

Fire debris and ash from burned grass coated parts of San Jose Saturday night.

The Division of Fire is urging all citizens to exercise caution when lighting fires outdoors at this time.

NWS recently warned that severe grass fire may hit the CNMI in the next few weeks due to drought conditions present in the Marianas region.

The NWS said the El Niño phenomenon is extending the Marianas dry season into June or July and that one additional month with total rainfall below two inches could still occur on Saipan and Guam.

“The CNMI and especially Saipan should continue to implement water conservation measures,” NWS said.

The agency said fire danger will increase and reduced fresh water supplies could make fire fighting difficult.

Although it rained on Saipan yesterday afternoon, NWS said June could have rainfall totals of only two inches or less for Tinian, Saipan, Rota, and Guam.

“More normal rainfall should hopefully return in late June or early July for Guam and Rota and by late July for Saipan and Tinian,” the weather agency said.

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