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Nicaragua Records 888 Forest Fires So Far in 2024

Almost 288,000 hectares affected by fires, most of them in protected areas such as Bosawás, warns Fundación del Río

Redacción Confidencial

16 de abril 2024


Forest fires have destroyed at least 287,792 hectares in Nicaragua so far in 2024. A large part of the affected areas are protected areas, reveals a report by the environmental organization Fundación del Río.

According to the document, as of April 14, 888 forest fires have been registered. The largest area of incidence is the Caribbean of Nicaragua.

According to the organization, the Miskitu territories of Prinzu Awala and Prinzu Auhya Un, located in the municipality of Prinzapolka, are the "most impacted by fires with a burned area of more than 43,000 hectares, so far in 2024."

The protected areas with the most damage from the fires are the Bosawás Reserve, with a burned area of 9039 hectares, the Wawashang Natural Reserve with a loss of 3528 hectares, and the Cosigüina Volcano Natural Reserve with 1722 hectares.

Other protected areas impacted by fires and agricultural burns are the Cerro Cola Blanca and Cerro Punta Gorda nature reserves, the Momotombo-Momotombito Volcanic Complex, the San Cristóbal-Casitas-Chonco Volcanic Complex, and the Estero Real Delta. Anomalies were also reported in the Cayos Miskitos Marine Biological Reserve, among other areas of Nicaragua.

Increase in forest fires, and one dead

In the department of Nueva Segovia, the authorities of the Ortega-Murillo regime reported a forest fire in the La Koquimba hill on Friday, April 12, in which Carmelo Amaya Jarquín, 22 years old, died when he helped to control the advance of the fire.

"In the last week alone, 413 fires were reported in the country, that represents a considerable increase with respect to what was reported on that date in 2023," explained biologist Amaru Ruiz, director of the River Foundation.

"Despite the fact that the regime of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo launched in January of this year their plan to attend to the fires, what we see in reality is that they have increased the attention capacity but in urban areas or near the cities, but in the case of the North and South Caribbean they do not have the capacity to react," he warned.

Indio Maíz Reserve reports fewer fires

According to the "analysis of the various satellite systems of forest fire monitoring information, there is a 44% increase in thermal anomalies or hot spots as of April 2024, with an accumulated total between January and April of 18,349 hot spots," detailed the Fundación del Río.

For Ruiz this is an indicator of the advance of the settlers in the face of the passivity and complicity of the Nicaraguan State. "The regime has not had the political will to implement the early management of fires, we saw it with (the fire in) Indio Maíz six years ago," stated Ruiz CONFIDENCIAL.

In 2018 a ferocious fire devoured at least 5484 hectares of the Indio Maíz Reserve, in the face of the late and negligent response of the Ortega-Murillo regime. Ruiz revealed that although the fires in that area have continued, at least this year they seem to have decreased.

The environmentalist pointed out that although the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Marena) reflects on its web page the real-time monitoring of hot spots, "they are less than those reported by satellites, so either they cannot confirm them all or there is no will to do so".

In 2023, the Fundación del Río, one of the more than 3500 NGOs that have been illegalized in the context of the crisis that Nicaragua has been experiencing since April 2018, denounced that "there was no reduction in the incidence of forest fires and agricultural burns in forest areas".

This article was published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by our staff. To get the most relevant news from our English coverage delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to The Dispatch.


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Redacción Confidencial

Redacción Confidencial

Confidencial es un diario digital nicaragüense, de formato multimedia, fundado por Carlos F. Chamorro en junio de 1996. Inició como un semanario impreso y hoy es un medio de referencia regional con información, análisis, entrevistas, perfiles, reportajes e investigaciones sobre Nicaragua, informando desde el exilio por la persecución política de la dictadura de Daniel Ortega y Rosario Murillo.