| The main causes for the fires were burning for planting, vandalism, and illegal hunting said the specialist.
/ Costa Rican Firefighters courtesy photo.
Forest fires affected wild protected areas,
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Authorities of the National System of Conservation Areas announced the consequences of forest fires so far in 2019.
According to experts, more destruction recorded in protected areas and faster expansion of fires was due to the drought.
From January until July, in wild areas, fires destroyed 2,520 hectares. Which is an increase of 995 hectares as compared to 2018.
In the same period, rangers reported 186 forest fires, which represents the largest number of significant emergencies since 2000.
Of the total of forest fires, 86 were within the wild protected areas. The rest were located on private property, government heritage lands, indigenous territories, and maritime land zones.
For those emergencies, 1,329 people were assigned to combat the fires. They were park rangers, firefighters, and volunteers.
The destruction of 50,344 hectares was recorded for fires in non-protected private areas. Which represented an increase of 5,134 hectares as compared to 2018.
According to specialists, in the Tempisque Conservation Area, in Guanacaste saw the most significant number of hectares burned with a total of 45,005 hectares.
Regarding the types of vegetation, the most burned areas were in the natural regenerative forest equal to 23,801 hectares. The second hardest-hit areas were the areas with a combination of grass with trees, equivalent to 12,724 hectares.
The main causes for the fires were burning for planting, vandalism, and illegal hunting said the specialist.
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