Fires are breaking out all over the country in this dry season

Cuerpo de Bomberos photo Fire fighters try to extinguish fire on Puntarenas boat.

The contained brush fire at Chirripó is only one of a number of blazes challenging the Cuerpo de Bomberos. In Puntarenas three boats ignited Tuesday from a welding torch, fire fighters there said.

High winds are making life difficult for the crews that are on the job at Parque Nacional Chirripó. And there are four other similar fires in the country.

In San José fire fighters are tackling a series of fires in lots that have the potential to damage adjacent property.

The boats in Puntarenas were shrimpers. The blaze started about 1:30.p.m. Tuesday, according to the Cuerpo de Bomberos. A spark from a welding torch ignited flammable residue on the deck of one boat, a report said.

Two boats, one 60 feet and one 40 feet were destroyed while a 20-foot boat suffered damage. This was the seventh blaze this year caused by welding, said the fire agency. That is 7 percent of all fires, a report said.

The main job of fire fighting crews in Chirripó now is to make sure the fire does not spread beyond a three-meter fire break. Officials also said they were worried about the physical condition of some of the crew members because they have been on the fire line for more than a week in the rugged national park.

In all, there have been 63 blazes in wooded areas since Jan. 1, the fire agency said. The blazes involved 1,340 hectares (about 3,300 acres), the fire agency said. The Chirripó blaze covers about 150 hectares or 370 acres.

Major brush blazes also are reported in La Roca, Puntarenas, in Las Juntas, Guanacaste, La Cieba, Orotina, and Agua Buenas, Acosta.

Large white smoke spread through San José Tuesday afternoon as an empty lot caught fire in the south part of the district. The lot was located in Barrio San Cayetano along Calle 7 perpendicular to a bridge over the Rio Cañas.

Three fire fighters from the Barrio Luján station put out the fire in an hour. That includes the time of a trip Capt. Rafael Alcazar had to make with a fire truck to refill the tank.

Alcazar calculated the lot measured approximately 10,000 square meters (more than 100,000 square feet) and about 200 meters (about 2,150 square feet) were burned. The blaze crawled down the bank of the river. There was no evidence of arson. But the fire captain did say because there is a lot of trash on the lot, it is possible the fire ignited with a piece of broken glass that focused the sun on flammable material.

According to Alcazar this is the dry season when the agency receives a lot of calls for fires on lots. He said there have been a few this year in San José, but all minor. He said the area with the biggest problem is in La Carpio in La Uruca since it is harder to stop the fires and to get there.

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