Gov’t monitoring mountain fires in Region 9

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An aerial view of the fires
An aerial view of the fires

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry says that it is currently conducting aerial monitoring of fires in the Kanuku Mountain Range – Rupununi Region 9.

Region 9 is one of the areas in Guyana that is currently afflicted by severe droughts, with government already responding to that issue.

“With reports of forest fires in the foothills of the Kanuku Mountains in Region 9, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment recently facilitated an aerial assessment of the area. Working with its Region 9 partners, including affected communities and Conservation International, the Ministry has begun monitoring the size, location, direction of movement and speed of the fires,” a statement from the Natural Resources Ministry reported.

It was noted the first helicopter overflight was conducted on April 9, 2015 and surveyed the forests, savannahs and mountains around Lethem, Moco Moco, St. Ignatius, Shulinab and Sand Creek villages.

Slow moving fires were observed in a number of areas surveyed, with the vast majority of the fires moving away from settlements and up the sides of the mountains. Much of these fires appear to be burning leaf litter and dry vegetation, and producing significant amounts of smoke that are affecting some areas. However, the fires have not yet been observed consuming mature trees or destroying large tracts of forest.

 “As these fires are known to be unpredictable, and with their proliferation being compounded by the extended dry conditions in Region 9, the Ministry will continue to monitoring their movement. The data collected, including any relevant satellite imagery, will be used to strengthen the assessments and mitigation efforts currently being undertaken in the area by the Government,” the statement noted.

The Ministry is asking that all stakeholders to use caution during this period, particularly as communities begin clearing farmlands, and to work together to address the challenges being faced by these affected Regions.

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