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Wild Costa Rica

Photo via Costa Rica Fire Department

Forest fires destroy over 28K hectares in Costa Rica

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Published on Monday, May 27 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Costa Rica's 2023-2024 forest fire season ended with more than 28,000 hectares destroyed, according to the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac).

Sinac, the institution in charge of administering all of the country's natural regions and national parks, noted that the top forest fire season occurred between December 2023 and March 2024.

This year, park rangers and firefighters responded to 141 fire emergencies. This statistic represents nearly 96 crises more than the 45 forest fires recorded in 2023.

More than 3,200 hectares of the entire burnt land were in national parks and protected wild zones. This is the greatest record in recent years, exceeding the 2,500 hectares damaged last year.

More than 700 forest firefighters, including 280 park rangers and over 100 volunteers, were working to put out forest fires in national parks.

They have to attend fire emergencies outside the protected areas, such as in indigenous territories, private properties and maritime land areas.

Every day, new forest fires are discovered using satellite images, anchored watchtowers, and ground and aircraft patrols.

Sinac has been completing an advertising effort to urge visitors to avoid forest fires.

They asked campers to clear up any trash, refrain from lighting campfires or other types of flames, and leave no flammable items behind.

Fires of any kind are forbidden in protected areas. There are no exceptions, including brush-burning fires on privately owned lands, farms, and pastures.

The largest forest fires this year occurred in Palito Port on Chira Island in Puntarenas Province and the Prussia Forest Reserve of the Irazu Volcano National Park in Cartago Province, according to the Costa Rica Fire Department.

What further actions can authorities take to decrease fires in forests? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to