Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
The gardening column by Victoria Torley is informative for gardeners living in her region of the country and is written with humor and charm. The title and intent of her column on Monday, however, made me shudder. ” Burned Earth Can Be a Big Benefit. ” Where I live in Nosara, Guanacaste, our volunteer fire fighters have recently battled raging forest fires in multiple locations caused by the custom of agricultural burning. In all, 500 hectares (1,235 acres) were destroyed by fire and countless animals and their habitats perished.
The fires came very close to destroying homes and business properties. Our entire community was threatened. The custom of burning has to stop! Expats and new arrivals in Costa Rica who have no knowledge of the dire consequences of burning their trash or yard debris might read this advice and think it sound advice . Please think twice!