Belize Desperation Over Advancing Forest Fires

Belize Desperation Over Advancing Forest Fires

On Monday, the Toledo district of southern Belize reported growing despair among residents as forest fires rage through the area with widespread material destruction.

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According to the Belize Live News website, people in places like San Miguel are crying out for urgent help because the proximity of the fire poses a serious threat to lives, homes and livelihoods.

«The situation in Toledo is desperate and the need for assistance is immediate. The time for action is now. By joining forces and extending a helping hand, we can make a tangible difference in this crisis and demonstrate the power of human compassion in the face of adversity,» the media outlet said.

The news portal quoted testimony from Itzely Peña, a resident of Corozal town, about the desperate struggle of locals to contain the flames with limited resources and in the midst of thick smoke engulfing the area.

#EMSR726

On 23 May, a #wildfire �� was reported to have affected the Toledo District in #Belize ����, primarily impacting agricultural land

Our #MappingTeam has been activated to monitor the extent of the fire and its impact

More details coming ��

��https://t.co/O5U24n4QWW pic.twitter.com/Yl7DiRGysY

— Copernicus EMS (@CopernicusEMS)
May 24, 2024

She identified areas in critical condition and where immediate assistance is needed, such as providing respirators to protect respiratory health, sending professionals to combat the blaze, opening safer shelters and providing essential items to families who lost or are at risk of losing their homes.

Just a week ago, the government of Belize suspended classes in Toledo because of the impact of forest fires and the resulting environmental pollution.

In fact, it did not rule out the possibility of more districts implementing this measure, as the country suffers from persistent heat and the atmosphere is laden with toxic smoke due to the fires burning unchecked in its territory.

In recent days, the meteorological authorities have issued more than once alerts for extreme heat and the health authorities have issued recommendations to be followed by the population to avoid casualties due to the climatic situation.

The situation is further complicated by the arrival of a dense column of dust from the Sahara, which is contributing to the rise in temperatures and pollution.