Five hectares of Chirqui still affected by blaze.


The firefighters confirmed that they have controlled 85% of the fire that is developing for the fourth consecutive day on Punta hill, Tierras Altas district, in Chiriquí, and that so far it has consumed some five hectares of the La Amistad International Park (PILA), reported this Saturday, May 13, the Ministry of Environment (MiAmbiente).

The confirmation was announced by Colonel Nadia Samudio, commander in chief of the Bugaba Regional Zone of the Benemérito Fire Department, so the work and maneuvers to put out the flames will continue.

“Right now —at dawn this Saturday— three isolated foci are observed, we have two groups that are already in the area and another that is on the rise. We are going to continue carrying out the maneuvers on land and prevent it from spreading to other points,” said Samudio.

During a visit to the area, the head of the MiAmbiente portfolio, Milcíades Concepción, announced that: “We are venturing internationally to use more comprehensive technologies if necessary.” 

And he added: “the searches for support from other countries in the work of extinction.”

Concepción emphasized PILA, due to its biological importance in 1998 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared it La Amistad Biosphere Reserve and in 1990 as a World Heritage Site, and in the year 2000 as a Mesoamerican Biological Corridor.

The control works include, in the first instance, creating fire break lines; which is a strip of land, as long as necessary and several meters wide, where all the vegetation is cut and removed to prevent the spread of flames. Then proceed with the liquidation of the flames.

“We continue working together, joining efforts jointly to prevent the flames from spreading to other areas. On behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, we have activated technicians and park rangers on site,” said Krislly Quintero, regional director.

The work has been complicated due to the lack of precipitation, the amount of smoke and the topography of the place that does not favor control and extinction maneuvers.

Units of the Joint Task Force (FTC) participate in this fire, which is recorded for the first time on this hill, as well as the community and local governments.

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