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The heat is on: Firefighters being kept busy by bushfires caused by excessive heat

Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2024. 12:24 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: While calls regarding structural fires have decreased, according to National Fire Service Station Manager Kenneth Mortis, the calls to respond to bushfires, especially those that threaten residences, have taxed the Service’s already limited structure.

Speaking with reporters on Friday, he highlighted critical areas in the Belize District being communities along the major highways between the Old Capital and Ladyville and Hattieville, respectively: “It has become a common practice for calls coming out of Maxboro especially, you’re looking at the [Mile 8, Western Paradise] community and these are areas that, as close as they may be, they are yet far away because we are we also need to be prepared for the event of a structural fire, the event of an RTA and our resources is extremely limited, but we keep doing the best with what we have.”

He also noted that sometimes he gets calls directly, including the evening hours: “Those calls are around 8-8:30 pm. You know, there’s a bushfire over this location. Once we respond and that fire is out, then that means our visibility becomes next to nil. We then have to deal with whatever wildlife that comes out of this bushfire.”

The fire emergency hotline number is 990 [NOT 911, which is for general emergencies], and Mortis advises not to wait until the fire gets close to your residence, limiting firefighters’ options. If a fire is burning in the daytime, call as soon as possible and don’t wait until nightfall. For those living in ‘the bush’ clear brush from around the home in what is known as a fire path as a means of safety, and take responsibility for clearing up abandoned lots which can become sources of fire.

 

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