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June 14, 2024

Prime Minister Briceno vows to improve Belize’s wildfire response

Posted: Friday, June 14, 2024. 4:41 am CST.

By Horace Palacio: After weeks of ravaging southern Belize, wildfires have finally begun to subside, providing relief to affected communities. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) confirmed that recent rains and intensive firefighting efforts have successfully extinguished most of the blazes.

The disaster has left a trail of destruction, affecting hundreds of farmers across more than two dozen communities. The government has initiated relief efforts, distributing seeds for replanting and exploring financial aid options.

Prime Minister John Briceno acknowledged the challenges faced in combating the wildfires, particularly the absence of aerial firefighting resources. He stressed the government’s dedication to enhancing Belize’s wildfire response strategies.

“We must be practical about our resources,” Prime Minister Briceno stated. “We are examining how to restructure our firefighting efforts from the ground up, emphasizing community-level training and preventative measures such as controlled burning.”

The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) for their crucial role in battling the fires, along with the Minister of Agriculture for their swift action in providing aid to affected farmers.

The wildfires have displaced several families, highlighting the need for comprehensive recovery efforts. As the immediate crisis subsides, the focus shifts to rebuilding and implementing measures to prevent future disasters.

The government is currently formulating a supplementary budget to address the financial needs of recovery and to invest in preventative strategies to protect the region from future wildfire threats.

 

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