Saturday, June 15, 2024

Wildfire fire north of Ambergris Caye contained by residents and the fire department; slash-and-burn practice is illegal

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Over the weekend, on Saturday, April 9th, several residents in northern Ambergris Caye scrambled to tackle a wildfire threatening to spread to nearby homes. It is uncertain how it started, but residents believe it was intended to clear bushy properties. If this is the case, the San Pedro Fire Department advises people that it is illegal to set fires and should be reported to their facilities on Pescador Drive or call 206-2372.

Residents state that the fire began around midday, and with the winds blowing, it slowly picked up and spread to residential areas. Some people reported observing distressed wildlife trying to get away from the inferno. The location of the fire was around eight miles north of San Pedro Town, just north of a fenced area called Tuto, which appeared to have been reached by the fire.

The local fire department was aware of the blaze and headed north to tackle the burn. Residents had already begun to clear other areas near the fire and dug trenches to cut the fire path off. The combined efforts worked, and although the flames burned a large area, no residences were damaged, and no one was hurt. The San Pedro Fire Department emphasizes that if someone uses the slash-and-burn method to clear properties, it is illegal and should abstain from engaging in such practice.

The Fire Chief advises property owners to keep their areas clean. If there is a need to clear the land from tall bushes or vegetation, use any other method except fire. Setting fire can be dangerous, as the current days are becoming windier.

Another piece of advice is to not throw any glass containers in empty bushy parcels of land. As summer continues to get closer and the heat intensifies, this can lead to accidental wildfires. Some glass bottles can ignite a fire if the conditions are too dry, hot, and windy.

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