Wildfire menaces Dominican Republic’s highest city
Constanza, Dominican Republic.- A wildfire first spotted at Valle Nuevo National Park several days ago continues spreading early Thursday, threatening the highland city Constanza and forcing people to flee the area from the heavy smoke.
Valle Nuevo official Andrés Ferrer said the fire was first spotted April 28 within the park, close to Los Limoncillos stream at Padre las Casas, southern Azua province.
He said the blaze has charred around 10 square kilometers, while Santiago province "spent the afternoon and evening under the fire’s raining ashes."
Valle Nuevo National Park, an area of 910 square kilometers which borders several provinces, is located just 15 kilometers south of Constanza, whose elevation is around 1,100 meters above sea level.
"The fire is now around three kilometers from Constanza. Right now the city’s environmental situation is catastrophic, some people have had to evacuate their children with respiratory problems," Ferrer told El Nuevo Diario by phone.