Cuba to see increasing forest fires in drought season

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The Cuban Ranger Corps on Tuesday warned of an increase in forest fires from February to May known as the drought season in Cuba.

Raul Gonzalez, chief of the corps, said the authorities were preparing professional crews along with volunteers to detect, prevent and combat these possible fires.

However, he said 95 percent of wildfires are caused by "human actions, such as the use of fire as an agricultural tool to clean land, negligence of smokers and sparks from vehicles and agricultural machinery."

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from January to May in 2010, 5.711 hectares of forest in Cuba had been burnt down by fires with estimated losses of 7.6 million pesos (8.2 million U.S. dollars).

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