A few days ago the Forest Department announced the official opening of the Forest Fire Season which is believed will be more intense this year due to the detrimental effects caused by Hurricane Earl in August of 2016. We understand that the Chief Forest Officer along with other regional foresters have already met to review and establish plans to combat the anticipated increase in cases of forest fires.


Here in Orange Walk wild fires are already affecting the Sugar Industry resulting in product and financial loss for cane farmers. The incident prompted stakeholders of the industry to work hand in hand to avoid further losses and now everyone is on high alert. Bearing in mind that wild fires can result in the destruction of vegetation and households, and even threaten lives, we spoke to Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk Fire Department, Miguel Medina who shared with us several precautionary measures to avoid fire incidences.


Screen_Shot_2017-02-28_at_6.51.29_PMMiguel Medina – Fire Chief, Orange Walk Town


“What we would like to recommend to the public is that it is against the law to burn garbage or to set fire on those open lots within the town limits and if something like is going to be done you have to before you light u the open lot on fire you would have to talk to neighbor and ask them more or less if they could assist you in allowing you to burn this garbage in this open lot because it is for cleaning the area because we don’t want people calling us for bush firs like that because they are not at home and they are afraid that their house catches fire or vehicle are parked close to the bushy lots and so you need to talk to the neighborhood before you set those things in fire and ask them more or less what would it be the best time to burn those things when these people are at home, also we recommend that if you have an open lot like that around your neighbor keep at least three to four feet clear all around your perimeter so in case you are not at home and this lot is set on fire you could be more safer and also if you are going to burn bushes like that make sure you burn them in small piles so that it could be more easier to control the fire and let us make sure that when we set it on fire is not a windy day because that is what causes the fire to spread more quicker.”

 

Keeping in line with the subject of fire hazards, last week we told you about a house fire which occurred in the village of Trial Farm leaving a family of six homeless. According to Medina, that incident was caused by electrical failure.

 

Miguel Medina – Fire Chief, Orange Walk Town


“We received a call from the police department reporting that there was a structure on fire in the Cedar Street, Trial Farm area and we responded and upon arrival we encountered a twenty by twenty four feet long wooden structure which was already fully engulf in flames, the fire department got into operation and we got to extinguish the fire although the house was already consumed and the items too but we also recommend the public also that in case of an emergency like that to please call directly to the fire department which our number is 3022090 in order for us to respond in amore promptly manner rather than if we have to wait for a call from the police or some other resource.”

 

As mentioned by Medina, the contact number for the Orange Walk Fire Department is 302-2090.

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