Fire brigades, Ranger Corps (CGB), and Interior Minister specialized forces currently work to extinguish the flames, whose magnitude forced them to evacuate inhabitants of towns nearby Pinares de Mayari mountains, including Vivero 2 and Pueblo Nuevo, where over 600 people live.
Caused by prolonged drought, the fire initially only had three hotspots. However, it started to spread rapidly due to strong air currents and security forces’ difficulties in accessing the Pinares de Mayari mountains to counteract it.
The flames currently approach the Mensura-Piloto National Park, which occupies over 84.8 square km and hosts endemic Cuban flora and fauna. In January, national authorities registered over 80 forest fires, a high figure for this month.
On Feb. 9, the CGB announced that it managed to control another large fire in El Prado, a 700-meter-high mountainous area in Holguin province.
This fire, which lasted 14 days and affected about 1 Sq. km of forest, occurred due to intense drought and organic plant material abundance, which favored the advance of the flames.
In January, the Cuban Meteorological Institute recorded a 62 percent deficit of accumulated rainfall that affected mainly the western and eastern provinces, which host large forest plantations.
During a meeting in Bogota, Colombian President Gustavo Petro asked U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken that Cuba be removed from the list of "States Sponsors of Terrorism." pic.twitter.com/GeWVSaTA8o