International Help Called to Assist With Chirripo Fire

Costa Rica has requested international support to fight the fire that consumed Chirripo National Park for over a week. The fire destroyed 150 hectares of valuable forest, official sources reported Saturday.

Luis Sanchez, head of the area protected by the Ministry of Environment, said it is negotiating help of “friendly countries”. To provide for fire fighting helicopters, which has been extended despite containment efforts that is being performed by tens of brigades.

The fire broke out on Monday and has already destroyed 150 hectares due to dryness and wind, the official said.

On Friday a helicopter was used to do aerial spraying.” “Some of which were effective because they managed to contain the advance of the fire in some sectors.” he said.

“However, to put out the fire, possibly caused by drug traffickers and poachers requires more support from air units, with which the country lacks.” Sanchez said.

Chirripo National Park, in the Talamanca mountain range, is the highest in the country, at 3,820 meters high.

The area, protected by law, contains a variety of climatic zones from the moor at the top of the hill to the tropical rainforest on its slopes, with valuable plant and animal species at risk of being devastated.

The government’s National Emergency Commission has declared this a national emergency.

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