Fire-fighting agency warns that risks are higher this time of year

Graphic shows the incidents of fires over five years. The graphic shows that fires appear to spike in January, February and March. In part, that is because of field fires due to the dry weather. Costa Ricans call the dry season summer.

Christmas and local summer are here, and so is fire season.

The Cuerpo de Bomberos, the Costa Rica fire fighters, reported Wednesday that the frequency of fires in the nation increased 16 percent through Dec. 7 this year over the same period last year, bringing total fires to this year to 815 with 13 deaths.

Since 2007, 4,358 fires have taken place in the country and
resulted in 60 deaths. The most active months are December through April, according to statistics.

The fire-fighting agency said that 30 percent of fires are caused by electrical problems and urged people to take care so that Christmas decorations do not become fire hazards. These include apparatus involved in cooking holiday meals, fireworks and lights and candles. Just one spark can turn that seemingly quaint nativity scene or pile of Christmas presents into a fiery blaze, a release from firemen said.

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