Local January 22, 2015 | 10:00 am

After devastation last year, plan to fight, prevent forest fires unveiled

Constanza, Dominican Republic.- The Environment Ministry on Tuesday announced a plan to prevent and mitigate forest fires, and put a halt to arson in protected areas nationwide, listin.com.do reports.

Environment minister Bautista Rojas also announced progress in the recovery of the more than 400 hectares charred during last July’s fire in Valle Nuevo National Park, Constanza (central).

The official presented the plan whose initial cost is RD$30.0 million in four months, during a tour of Valle Nuevo with journalists.

He said the new plan aims to bolster efforts to prevent fires, adding 180 forest rangers for a total of 800 across the country.

The official said among the new equipment obtained figure motorcycles and trucks, to be stationed at the most affected sites, especially national parks.

Fire season

According to Geronimo Abreu, head of the of the Ministry’s national fire management program, the forest fire season starts January and ends in April. He said 98% of the blazes are arson, adding that there have been more than eight fires so far this year, one of them set by minors.

Valle Nuevo recovers

The more than 400 hectares of forests in Valle Nuevo charred by a fire last July, blamed on lightning ,have begun to recover after restoration, Rojas said.

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