Thursday, March 1, 2007

Fire 'em up!

Ah, summer is here in Honduras. Defining the seasons here is a mixed bag. Since rain is the main differentiator, most people call the dry season "summer", although after taking an informal poll...the definition of summer can range from a few weeks, a get the idea.

And with summer comes, fire. Lots of fire. We are not even into March yet...well, as of Tuesday, you can see the fire set below near the Christ statue and the area of Picacho. Nothing adds to the view like blazingly black burnt bastions beruft of beauty.
If you look closely at the top right of the picture, you can see a helicopter. What you might not be able to see is that it is carrying water to try to put out the fire, or at least make things wetter.
The firefighters only get involved generally speaking when the fire threatens homes, etc. as there are not enough firefighters, and more than enough fires.
At this point you might be asking yourself (or asking me), why the fires? Gold star for you. The fires are cultural at some point, as in years past that was how the farmers cleared their fields for planting, which will be coming up shortly before the rainy season starts. Now however, as you can see from the picture, that is not an agricultural area being burned. Arsonist is generally the term used for people setting fires for recreation.
The government and other organizations have stepped up advertising and publicity efforts over the years to combat this, but to little success. Last year I think was the year that for a week the airport was closed due to the smog/smoke. And lest you think this is just our problem, as I recall, San Pedro Sula, San Salvador, and Managua were also closed for several days. However this is one issue in which misery does not really love company.

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