Cuba Activates New Center to Monitor Forest Fire

Cuba Activates New Center to Monitor Forest Fire

10 January 2012

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Cuba — The Forest Ranger Corps of Cuba on Tuesday began to activate for the first time a monitoring center to detect more accurately and quickly the occurrence of forest fires across the country.

Equipped with modern technology, including the use of satellite imagery, the center will allow a preliminary assessment of the location of the fires, as well as their monitoring and tracking, said specialists of the facility.

The Forestry Department started earlier the traditional campaign to protect the forest from fires on January, as it is considered the period of highest incidence due to the worsening climate change.

Manuel Lama, head of the institution, told reporters that the operation used to cover the months of February through May, but since 2007 there is an upward trend in fires starting in January.

According to Lama, most fires are the result of negligence of smokers and bystanders, the burning of plants for different purposes and the absence of safety devices to prevent sparking in vehicles and equipment.

The weather causes related to the shortening of the intervals between each stage of drought also affect the situation, but certainly the action of man remains the main cause, said Lama.

Experts believe that the population generally does not perceive the risk of forest fires as high, and this can delay efforts to try to prevent and mitigate forest fires and their environmental and economic impact.

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