Number of Forest Fires Decreases in Costa Rica

Seventy two percent of forest fires in protected areas were successfully handled

According to the last report by the National System of Conservation Areas the number of forest fires has decreased in 2017. According to this information, this problem has improved in almost all the regions of the country including wildlife areas, indigenous territories and private natural reserves. Around 25,000 hectares have been obliterated by fire this year, which means there were fewer wildfires than in 2016, totalizing a decrease of 22 percentage points. This is the lowest figure in the last 20 years.

Fires didn’t only blaze in rainforests but also in other types of environments. 1,170 hectares of protected areas out of the woods have been destroyed so far.

“It is actually the best record of the last 20 years but unfortunately we have still lost a lot of hectares in the Caño Wildlife Natural Refuge.” – SINAC said.

As per Luis Roman, SINAC’s coordinator, the dry season and El Niño have played an important role this year, leading to better results than in 2015 and 2016. He also added that SINAC and its fire department will be taking measures to keep forest fires at bay next year as well. Up to now, 42% of the protected areas have been burned by this phenomenon, according to data provided by the Department of Conservation Areas in Costa Rica.

Seventy two fire cases in protected areas were successfully handled by SINAC and other 31 out of its territories including private lands, and stage heritage sites. Apparently, the maintenance of the facilities in those regions have given the best results regardless of the huge investment of 285 million colones.

Guanacaste ranks first with the majority of forest fire cases this year. Seventy five percent of the Chorotega green areas have been fire-striken. However, the SINAC Fire Department took control of 98% of these incidents with the aid of other private firefighting companies. The problem in those regions is mainly caused by agricultural activities and poaching. Surprisingly, only two fire incidents have erupted because of lightning so far.

There is no doubt that brush fires are prevalent in the country.

Watch this video posted in 2015.

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VIAThe Costa Rica News
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