Local May 1, 2015 | 1:07 pm

Major forest fire in Dominican Republic ‘under control’ (Update)

Constanza, Dominican Republic.- The Environment Ministry affirmed Friday that the forest fire that started near the highland town Constanza, central La Vega province, is virtually under control, for which only remain crews of firefighters remain on site to prevent further blazes.

File.- Dajabon, Dominican Republic.- Sweltering temperatures and strong winds on Friday halted progress of crews battling several wildfires Dajabon province(northwest) for days, while the military, brigaes and volunteers fight other blazes in several parts of the Dominican Republic.

Dajabon province Environment director Colombina Vargas said crews have been unable to control the blazes thus far and “much less extinguish them.”

She said the fires have charred hundreds of hectares of forests in the towns of Partido and Restauracion along the border with Haiti.

Vargas said firefighters had to stop working last night as the thick smoke was "choking" some of the volunteers, but dozens of volunteers and Environment employees resumed the tasks Friday morning.

The crews include volunteers from Civil Defense, Dominican Red Cross, fire departments, soldiers and National Police agents.

Other blazes

Environment minister Bautista Rojas, who was in Dajabon since Thursday, said crews also battle forest fires at Los Haitises National Park (east) and Jarabacoa (central), which he blames mostly on people who illegally plant crops in protected areas.

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