At least 2,000 hectares of three forest reserves in the Herrera province have been destroyed weekend by plant mass fires in recent days.
They are the El Camarón Forest Reserves in Ocú, El Pedregoso in Pesé and El Montuoso de Las Minas.
Alejandro Quintero, Regional Director of the Ministry of Environment reported that to date there have been more than 50 fires of plant mass in the province.
"Fires are destroying shrub, woodland, and herbaceous vegetation and causing serious damage to the diversity of native species," said Quintero.
Park rangers, forest brigade members, environmental volunteers, local authorities and citizens who join in the extinction efforts have helped reduce the damage said, Quintero.
He said that fires affect not only the protected areas of the region but also disrupt food security and citizen health, especially at this time, when the country is focusing its efforts to fight the Coronavirus pandemic that affects us and sanctions are being applied to anyone causing plant mass fires.
The Aborigines used to burn their forest every year and it is one of the healthiest in the world. The animals find a way to survive and more tics are burned in the fire than a million opossums can eat. I do though have a problem when other people's houses or crops are infected (burned) by this practice. It is an age old practice that works though. Global warming is a non issue here. In the 70's, everybody was screaming "Global cooling!". God is in control of all of that and there is nothing we can do that will change that.
My grandparents had a huge farm. They NEVER burned the fields, they cut down the vegetation with machines I do not recall the name of, then plowed them under. Over the winter they were incorporated into the soil for natural fertilizer.
Wendy is 100% correct. Every dry season people start fires that destroy plant and animal life, and also cause power failures for days because they burn the electrical transmission lines. It seems this practice is accepted as normal in Panama. I have never heard of anyone being arrested or fined for starting fires that damage property. I do understand the practice of clearing land by burning it, but there should be severe penalties for allowing these fires to get out of control and causing damage to the environment and infrastructure.
Panama needs to get away from the old tradition of burning open land. This burning affects the health of people who get the Corona Virus lung disease, people with asthma, destroys private property, kills plants that give us oxygen to breath and pollutes the air and makes the climate hotter and kills animals that help the eco-system. For example a possum eats 100's of ticks a day that could make you or your pets sick. Be smart and care. Do not start fires.