Fires consume thousands of acres in Honduras

Fires consume thousands of acres in Honduras

04 April 2011

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Honduras — At least 6,000 hectares (14,814 acres) of forest have been destroyed by the fires that have broken out this year around Tegucigalpa, which has been covered by smoke in the past few days, Honduran firefighters said.

About 250 forest fires and nearly 500 brush fires occurred in the first quarter of 2011, a fire department spokesman said, adding that arsonists started almost all the blazes.

The smoke over Tegucigalpa has occasionally caused problems for air traffic, a Civil Aviation Administration official told Efe.

Operations at the capital’s Toncontin International Airport and at the airports in the northern cities of San Pedro Sula and La Ceiba were halted for stretches on Saturday.

Children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems should take precautions to avoid being affected by the smoke, Health Minister Arturo Bendaña said.

Fires, according to official figures, destroyed about 37,000 hectares (91,358 acres) in 2010 across Honduras.

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