Forest Fires Devastate Nicaragua

Forest Fires Devastate Nicaragua

27 March 2013

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Nicaragua — Nicaragua has registered 14 forest fires this summer, with damages of 240,000 hectares and April still to come, when it will be even hotter, say government agencies.

According to preliminary data from the National System for the Prevention, Mitigation and Attention of Disasters (Sinapred), 1,239.9 hectares were destroyed in recent days, a number similar to last years’, but with the adverse factor of higher temperatures on the way.

Among the affected areas are 950 hectares of pine forest in the northwest of the country, located in the Departments of Nueva Segovia and Madriz, Sinapred’s Executive Secretary Guillermo Gonzalez told the media.

According to references gathered by Sinapred from several locations, the burning of lands to establish farming is a general practice that being uncontrolled causes the expansion of involuntary fires.

In some cases the method shields the extension of farming borders, without the required permission on the land management, and even affects areas considered natural reserves, said Sinapred.

The institution also denounced the unjustified use of burning to keep animals away and make it easier to hunt garrobos (iguana), deer and other species from the hillsides or close to natural reserves.

According to Sinapred, official leaders on this issue must follow educational campaigns and create teams to control fires with the strict imposition of laws and rules to stop offenders.

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