Covid-19 can’t stop Bushfires

Forest fires (also known as bushfires) are trademarks of the dry season in Trinidad and Tobago. Every citizen has experienced  at least once in their “Trini” lifetime, the sound of bursting bamboo, the scent of burning dry leaves or the sight of orange mountains and hills. 

While we may have grown accustom, and are somewhat confident the authorities have this under control, we need to do our part toward prevention and safety. 

We may run into reasons for building fires while at home during this quarantine period, maybe for a barbecue, to get rid of debris while cleaning up at home or clearing land to start our kitchen gardens. 

Let us prescribe to the guidelines of the Office of Disaster and Preparedness listed below and help to avoid unnecessary and dangerous fires:

“It is important to note that the forest fire season is from December 1 to the following June 30. Under the Agricultural Fires Act (Ch63:02 Act 20 of 1965) a permit, obtainable from the nearest Fire Station, is required to light out door fires during this time. Failure to obtain a permit carries a fine of $1500 and 6 months imprisonment.”

If a permit is granted these guidelines should be adhered to:

  • Burn only during period specified on the permit

  • Avoid leaving cut trees bushes or brush lying around. Discard safely to reduce fire risk.   

  • Have water readily available to extinguish a fire       

  • Don’t burn during periods of high wind or hot dry periods.      

  • Have extra help available to assist in controlling fire   

  • Clear fire trace around the area to be burned   

  • Burn small amounts at a time”

 
Emergency Contact Information
In order to report a forest fire in Trinidad and Tobago, persons can call:

  • Fire Services at 990,

  • Forestry Division at 622-3217 / 662-5775 / 643-9595 / 657-7256  

  • ODPM at 640-1285 / 640-8905