February 23, 2024

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Guatemala reported 221 forest fires, of which 10 were active

Guatemala reported 221 forest fires, of which 10 were active

Specialized forces are operating in seven areas, while three of them are in the control phase, according to the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED), who divided the total for the period into 139 forest areas and 82 vegetation areas.

Authority spokesman Rodolfo Garcia said that the southwestern province of Quiche tops the list with 33 accidents, followed by this capital with 31, Zacapa with 24 and Huehuetenango with 18 accidents.

He added that there have been 543 hectares so far devoured by forest fires so far in the 2023-2024 season.

Agricultural burning and livestock farming are among the main causes of burning in the north of this Central American region.

The good news, according to experts, is that northeast of Petén appears to be free of fires, and is considered one of the last ecological lungs of America, in which about 3,500 species of animals and plants live.

Conred maintains procedures to prevent, mitigate and respond to risks, emergencies or disasters, with prevention being the safest, most profitable and most beneficial strategy for the environment and health.

He recommended taking precautionary measures, including monitoring the fire until it goes out and conducting firefighting rounds around the ground to prevent its spread.

Last season, the agency in charge counted more than 850 fires that affected more than 28,000 hectares of forests and pastures in the country.

Guatemala has lost 22.3 percent of its forest cover over the past 20 years, declining in that period from 4.5 million hectares of vegetation to 3.5 million, according to data from the Forest Information System.

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