Fire destroys 1,500 hectares of forest in Honduras

10:25, March 17, 2010      

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At least 1,500 hectares of forest have been destroyed by fire since the beginning of this year, Honduran Defense Minister Marlon Pascua said on Tuesday.

After a meeting of the ministers council, Pascua asked President Porfirio Lobo to declare a national emergency to call for the joint efforts of different institutions to prevent and control forest fires.

At the meeting, Pascua presented a video on how 2,000 troops of the Honduran armed forces fought forest fires.

According to the minister, at least 12 forest fires broke out last weekend across the country, most of them in Olancho province in northeast Tegucigalpa.

The minister said the Honduran government will launch a national forest fire prevention and control campaign with the coordination of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, the National Service of Aqueducts and Sewage System, the Ministry of Public Health, the National Company of Electrical Power and the media.

In 2009, some 42,000 hectares of forest were destroyed by 103 forest fires across the central American country.

Honduras has 5.5 million hectares of forest, most of them pine forests. However, tens of thousands of hectares of forest are lost due to wild fires every year.

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