President Laura Chinchilla Expected to Visit Chirripo Fire Saturday

From 4:30 in the morning on Friday, the Fire Department personnel, brigades of ICE and lots of locals, were preparing for a trip of three hours walking up steep hills along Chirripo mountain.

After a coffee prepared by volunteers from the area, everything was ready to begin a long and exhausting walk to the place where the wildfire is, which has already consumed 130 hectares in the Chirripo National Park.

According to Bernal Valderrama, Director of the National Park, they worked all inside a string of nine miles of protection to prevent the spread of the fire.

With pumps they made ​​a direct attack on the fire. Already in the fire area are the brigades. Even foreigners joined up to help with voluntary work.

Firefighters cut trees to try to stop the advancing flames. Then came the help from the air with a helicopter from the Aerodiva company that was hired to do water discharges with a device called a Bambi Bucket.

The aircraft made ​​several flights to dump water and support the work below of the brigades.

By this afternoon the fire advanced in an area close to one of the hostels in San Miguel de Perez Zeledon.

OIJ agents of Perez Zeledon arrived at the fire site on Friday. They investigated the story that those responsible for starting the fire are people dedicated to growing marijuana in nearby mountains.

It is expected this Saturday that President Laura Chinchilla will visit the fire area.

The President of the Republic Laura Chinchilla, will travel this Saturday to the fire area in the Chirripo National Park.

This was confirmed by Emma Lizano, press director of the presidency, who said the president will leave San Jose at 7 am.

The idea is to assess the land ravaged by the flames in the last week, which was consumed by the fire.

Data revealed that the fire brigade – about 250 workers – in the region are building control lines to close the perimeter ring of fire.

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