By Alexis R. Milan
The fire season, which is observed from February 15th to June 15th in Belize, has started and the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has issued a caution to citizens.
With the onset of the dry weather, the Ministry cautions the general pubic and especially agricultural farmers to take all necessary precautions when using fire for burning garbage and preparing land for cultivation.
According to the Ministry, most forest fires originate from negligent use of fire by farmers for the burning of their milpas and other agricultural lands. The Ministry is encouraging farmers not to burn land during 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as this is the hottest time of the day and can lead to uncontrolled hazards.
Farmers are also instructed to ensure that a three-meter wide fire line is cleared around their milpa so that fires aren’t spread to surrounding areas.
The Ministry said the burning of our forest causes major damage to our trees and destroys non-timber forest products found under its canopy that some people depend on. They added that it can potentially destroy the habitat of wildlife and contaminate our air with smoke – turning it into a health hazard.
The Ministry called on all Belizeans to help protect forests, property and safeguard health. Persons wanting more information may contact the Forest Department at 822-1524 or 822-2079 or send an email to [email protected]