Hog hunters’ campfire is blamed
Santo Domingo.- The Environment Ministry yesterday reported that a fire originated near the Baoruco National Park’s Pelempito Depression, in Pedernales (southwest) is under control.
The fire had been doused last Wednesday but the drought and the winds revived it, according to Environment minister Max Puig, who added that it would not reach Pelempito.
He said that possibly the zone caught fire because a boar hunter did not completely extinguish a campfire.
Puig said that 120 firefighters spent Christmas Eve on the firelines in the zone, where "the damages that the fire has caused can be considered limited, since it advances by the underbrush."
He affirmed that the fire crews are better equipped to fight fires than at the beginning of the year and have received constant support from the Armed Forces and the Army, which has provided blankets.
"In the zone, there are times during which the temperature at night can reach 10 degrees Celsius. It is a hard, difficult fight, mainly when our tradition drives us to spend Christmas Eve with our families. It is a fight by our nation," he said.
For his part, Forest Resources vice-minister Miguel Abréu said yesterday that the fire was practically controlled on Saturday night, but that the crews did not leave the zone because they needed to verify that there were not remnants.