Forest fire fighters show their outdoor skills this weekend

This is one of the units of professional firemen who have training for woods fires and who will be competing this weekend. Photo: Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica

Those who fight forest fires are competing in Agua Caliente de Cartago this weekend in an annual contest sponsored by the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación.

The Movilización de Brigadas Forestales requires these specialized firefighters to compete as individuals and as teams.

The physical condition and the way in which they handle their tools are judged, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos de Costa Rica, which entered two teams in the events.
The event is being held through Sunday at the Ciudad de los Niños in Agua Caliente. Fire fighters also will have to confront obstacles and battle simulated blazes.

Each year hundreds of acres of public land is charred by fires. The current dry season is a prime time for blazes to break out. Some are caused naturally by lightning and combustion but others are caused by humans.

The issue is in the news this month because expats living on the Pacific coast are trying to get support for a legislative bill that wouldd give the bomberos more money via a tax on electricity. Many well-known Pacific coast towns do not have fire protection.

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