The forest fire that so far has consumed 5,347.5 hectares of forest in the mountainous area of Pinares de Mayarí (Holguín) has been controlled, although not extinguished, the state media reported this Monday.
“At the moment the forest fire is controlled, with identified risks. It is not completely extinguished yet, but as a result of the constant action of courageous people, progress is in the right direction,” said the local newspaper ¡Ahora!
“Conditions such as height, wind speed, and water availability make work difficult, but alternatives are being sought to deal with obstacles,” the report said.
Another report broadcast on state television said that there are still many outbreaks, although “there is better control in the area.”
It also pointed out that “the forces” fighting the fire, made up of personnel from the fire departments and forest rangers, agroforestry enterprises and the Armed Forces, will not be demobilized.
The Forest Ranger Corps have explained that the fire originated as a consequence of the severe drought affecting the country, the existence of combustible material, the irregularities of the terrain, the dispersion of the sources, and the strong winds favorable to the spread of the flames.
A preliminary assessment shows losses in biodiversity with significant damage in the devastated area, where valuable species of native flora and fauna abound.
In 2022, Cuba reported 284 forest fires that affected more than 1,800 hectares of forest; of them, 90% were provoked according to data from the Forest Ranger Corps.
The origin of a good part of these disasters is attributed to the unauthorized burning of grass or sugar cane, the use of vehicles without spark arrestor mesh and also the activity of poachers.
The critical period for forest fires on the island runs from January 1 to May 31, coinciding with the driest season.