Woman fighting trash fire becomes first victim of season

The season of trash, field and brush fires has taken its first casualty.

A woman in San Rafael de Alajuela suffered burns over 10 percent of her arms and body Thursday afternoon when she tried to put out a trash fire, said the Cuerpo de Bomberos.

The 38-year-old woman was not identified, but firemen have been warning about this possibility or worse for the last month. Firemen from Belén arrived to help the woman and extinguish the blaze.

Expats in some of the Pacific beach towns are acutely aware that they do not have adequate fire protection. The problem there, fire officials have said, is that the agency does not have the money to expand services.
New fire stations depend on a measure that has been languishing in the legislature because it was not included on President Laura Chinchilla’s agenda for this session.

Pacific expats may have gotten a break Thursday when Casa Presidencial said that individual lawmakers were being invited to put their favorite bills on the agenda. During times when the legislature is not required to meet, the president has control over the bills that are discussed.

But with President Laura Chinchilla opening the door to other proposals, expats now have the chance to contact their local lawmakers to put the bill forward.

The bill calls for a small tax to pay for the fire agency, which has been severed from the control of the Instituto Nacional de Seguros by the laws that opened up the national insurance market to private competition.

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