This year 2024, a less intense campaign is expected, based on above-normal rainfall levels
During the last Campaign to Prevent Forest Deforestation in the period January-May 2023, 613 events took place in the Caribbean country. (Photo: PL)
Negligence caused by human action accounts for 96 percent of the causes of forest fires reported in 2023 in Cuba, Colonel Manuel Lama, Head of the country’s Forest Guard Corps (CGC), reported on Thursday.
In a press conference, about the period of highest fire risk in the country, between January and May; Lama indicated that the prevention against forest fires currently constitutes an issue for the government of the island and even internationally, closely linked to the impact of climate change.
The Head of the CGC draws attention to the need to increase the sensitivity, awareness and risk perception of the population regarding this plague; because the main solution to events of this type lies in changing human behavior.
During the last Forest Deforestation Prevention Campaign in the period of January-May 2023, 613 events occurred in the Caribbean country, affecting about 13 hectares of forests and 498.50 hectares of swamp grasslands, Lama said.
In turn, he emphasized that the territories that record the highest number in terms of events are Pinar del Río, Holguín, Isla de la Juventud Special Municipality, Artemisa and Matanzas, in that order.
He remembers that one of the worst incidents happened in Pinares de Mayarí, in the eastern province of Holguín.
In 28 days, the fire affected the “La Mensura-Piloto National Park” Protected Area, which damaged 5,845 hectares of natural forests and plantations.
Lama explained that the causes of forest fires are based on the practice of burning without adopting the corresponding safety measures, the activity of hunters and fishermen and the circulation of vehicles with technical defects in combustion gas exhaust system. internal (spark arrester).
He also mentions the neglect of smokers and irresponsible passers-by and beehive castrators as triggers.
For this year 2024, the CGC foresees a less severe campaign, based on the above normal level of rainfall predicted by experts from the Institute of Meteorology for the months of November to April throughout the national territory, he said.
However, statistics only account for two or three percent of fires resulting from natural causes, mainly due to the effect of power surges, temperature rise and climate change, so the importance of preventive measures; highlighted.
The Master of Social Sciences also warns in particular about the environmental impact of accidents, which are often incalculable, beyond the economic losses.