Prime Minister Gumbs calls on Community to be Cautious due to High Fire Threat Caused by Drought

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Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs

PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten – Prime Minister Hon. Marcel Gumbs is calling on the populace to be extremely careful not to light any bush fires and not to throw out any lighted cigarettes which could easily ignite a fire.  The extreme drought has heightened the threat for bush fires.

The Meteorological Department of Sint Maarten seasonal outlook for July and August says that rainfall is expected to be below-normal to near normal.

Present observations are indicating that there is a greater than 90 per cent chance that El Nino will continue through the fall.  El Nino is associated with drier conditions and less frequency of storms across the Caribbean.  Fewer rainy days are expected.  There is an increased risk for bush fires; heat stress; less available soil moisture; and risks of storms/hurricanes.

The Fire Department which falls under the Ministry of General Affairs and the Prime Minister via its Fire Chief Clive Richardson is advising pperson’s, who would like to burn bush or garbage in a built up area or on a hillside for agricultural activities, are requested to refrain from doing so, and contact the fire department for advice.

The inappropriate use of fire can endanger lives, property and the environment in these dry weather conditions.

Fires can get out of control.  A person can help by reducing bush fire hazards by acting responsibly.

Those seeking information can contact the Fire Department at 542-1215, 542-1217, 542-6001 or in case of an emergency 919.