Current dry spell to persist until end of April, desist from lighting fires – Govt


Public Advisory from the Ministry of Home Affairs: 

In recent developments, there has been a significant decrease in visibility attributed to a combination of ground fog and smoke resulting from various grass fires in the East Bank to Timehri areas, the Linden Soesdyke Highway, and the West Bank area. These fires stem from a mix of spontaneous combustion and human-induced land clearing and waste destruction.

As we continue to experience a prolonged dry season, the risk of fires spreading rapidly and becoming unmanageable is heightened. According to the Guyana Hydro-Meteorological Service, the dry spell is expected to persist until the end of April.

The mixture of ground fog and smoke poses challenges for both motorists and pedestrians, making visibility extremely difficult. The Ministry of Home Affairs urges all road users to exercise extreme caution during this period. Motorists are advised to reduce speed and utilize both high and low beams, or hazard lights, as appropriate.

Additionally, there are significant health risks associated with smoke inhalation. For the safety and well-being of all residents, we strongly recommend adhering to the following precautions:

• Stay indoors: Whenever feasible, remain indoors with windows and doors closed to minimize exposure to smoke.
• Limit outdoor activities: If outdoor excursions are unavoidable, wear a mask for protection.
• Utilize air filtration: Employ air conditioning systems to help filter indoor air.
• Stay informed: Keep abreast of the latest information and advisories issued by the Fire Service and EPA.
• Consider alternate routes: When planning travel, explore alternative routes to circumvent smoke-affected areas and roadways.
• Exercise caution: Drive with utmost care in affected areas due to reduced visibility caused by smoke. Utilize hazard lights or high beams and remain vigilant for other vehicles and pedestrians.
• Protect vulnerable groups: Take extra precautions to safeguard vulnerable individuals, including children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions.

The Ministry of Home Affairs urgently calls upon all contractors, land developers, and farmers to refrain from initiating fires on or near their properties. Inspections will be conducted by the Guyana Fire Service and the Guyana Police Force to ascertain the cause and source of these fires. Perpetrators found responsible will face legal consequences.

Furthermore, citizens are implored to abstain from starting fires, adopt preventive measures, and extend assistance in extinguishing any fires if possible.

In the event of a fire, please promptly contact 912.

Your cooperation and vigilance are pivotal in mitigating these hazards and ensuring the safety of our community.