Local February 1, 2017 | 12:07 pm

Peak season for forest fires

Santo Domingo.- The Minister of Environment Francisco Domínguez Brito warned Tuesday that the peak season for forest fires in the country has begun.

Following a meeting with forest firefighting teams the minister highlighted their commitment to protecting the country’s environment and protected areas.

In response the national director for forest fires, Gerónimo Abreu, stressed the need to work to control forest fires. He stated that seasonal drought, land clearing for farming and strong winds were among the factors that caused these fires to spread.

Abreu said that 166 forest fires were recorded in 2016, affecting
1,154 hectares. The most vulnerable areas include the Baoruco mountains, Los Haitises, the central mountain range, San José de Las Matas, San José de Ocoa, Restauración and Elías Piña, where vigilance has already been stepped up.

He called on the public to refrain from lighting fires in forested areas and to avoid using fire for clearing farmlands.

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