Forest fires creeping toward national park on Panama’s border

Emergency officials are calling this dry season the worst in 10 years because of forest fires.

There are four wind-fanned fires blazing in the canton of Buenos Aires. Some 600 hectares are affected. That is nearly 1,500 acres.

The Comisión Nacional de Prevención de Riesgos y Atención de Emergencias stepped up the emergency alert Wednesday for the canton and maintained a lower level alert for the canton of Pérez Zeledón.
The blazes are moving downwind in the direction of the Parque Internacional La Amistad, which is on the border with Panamá. The amount of impact on protected forest areas is 200 percent that of the previous year, officials said.

Involved in the fight against the fires is the Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación of the Ministerio del Ambiente, Energía y Telecomunicaciones as well as crews from the Cuerpo de Bomberos, the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados and the Fuerza Pública. The fires are on the Pacific slope where there has been little moisture this dry season.

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