Farmer charged with arson in Palo Verde National Park blaze
Prosecutors in Liberia, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, received a complaint against a farmer with the last name Brenes Salazar for allegedly starting a fire that affected 70 hectares of Palo Verde National Park on Jan. 16.
The complaint was made by the park’s administration, who said Brenes did not have permits for agricultural burning on his land, which is adjacent to Palo Verde.
“National park authorities sent evidence and documentation and are waiting for an investigation by the prosecutor’s office,” the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) said in a press release.
Luis Diego Román, coordinator of the National Commision on Wildfires (CONIFOR), said, “the idea is to [reach a verdict in the case] as soon as possible in order to set a precedent and to make people aware that they can go to jail if a fire gets out of control.”
The species most affected by the fire (35 hectares) was Typha, a variety of grass. Fire also burned 15 hectares of pasture and 20 hectares of secondary forest, and regeneration could take up to 20 years, according to SINAC.
According to the agency, 49 percent of wildfires in Costa Rica are caused by agricultural-related burning practices.
You may be interested
OECD urges Costa Rica to maintain fiscal discipline in recovery after pandemicAFP and The Tico Times - July 16, 2020
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Wednesday urged Costa Rica to maintain rigorous fiscal discipline as seeks…
FIFA reveals official 2022 Qatar World Cup scheduleAFP - July 15, 2020
Qatar will kick off the 2022 Men's World Cup at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, organizers announced on…
Costa Rica still plans August airport reopening, Health Ministry saysAlejandro Zúñiga - July 15, 2020
Despite a recent increase in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Costa Rica still plans to reopen its airports for international…