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Fire under control at National Park Masaya Volcano

Róger Solórzano Canales | Apr 19, 2013

The fire spread quickly thanks to the predominant vegetation in the park. | Photographer: Olga Ortiz Kurashvili

Main tourists attraction foreseen to open doors next week after been closed for several days due to a fire.

Even tough there is not a day set, the Masaya Volcano administrative office has shared with that they are expecting to reopen the national park for international and local tourists the upcoming week, thanks to the fact that the prolonged fire that has affected more than 1,038 acres of territory in almost 9 days is now under control.

Major Martin Ugarte, Nindiri's Municipal Fire Department Commander, said that until yesterday there were still left a few fire focus around the park, concentrated around Venecia zone (to the north of the volcanic cone). Although, they expect the fire will not go further as the hot spots have spread towards an area predominated of lava stream rocks where it will eventually run out of combustion material to burn with.

“Nature will take care of the fire”. It will not go further. That's our prognosis”, stated Commander Ugarte. Since last night their fire units have suspend any control action. For now, only a few officials remain safeguarding the area.

A week and a half of fire

Dry forest at Masaya Volcano.
Fire initiated in the middle of last week. Since Wednesday April 10 around noon the fire squads were alerted and immediately arrived at the park. The fire quickly spread because of the characteristic dry vegetation (specially in these dry climate) and has affected the park's biodiversity.

Approximately 350 people were involved on fire extinguishing tasks. From Nindirí and Masaya's Fire Units, the National Fire Department, Civil Defense Dpt., Nicaragua Army Humanitarian Unit and several municipal brigades of the Disaster Prevention and Response Committee.

Fire started in the Comalito area, a small hill located near the entrance of the park. Fire headed north, damaging 1,038 acres (more than 4 square kilometers) of different zones of the park. Ultimately, most of the fire focus were extinguished and the remaining hot spots will burn themselves out.

Bill Aguirre, Government officer and Nindirí's Response to Disaster Center Coordinator (CED) stated that the safeguarding of the area also continuous due to security concerns. The suspicion of probable fire cause is criminal acts from poachers who break in and cause fire to force their preys to go out of their hides, explained Aguirre. Despite of, the situation it is consider under control.

Translated by Vanessa Aragón