CDC, PAC meet with Rupununi villages amidst rapid wildfires

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

Representatives of the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Protected Areas Commission (PAC) met on Thursday with council members from several villages in the Rupununi (Upper Takutu–Upper Essequibo) to determine the best course of action to combat the varying fires across the savannahs and mountainous areas.

Persons from Moco-Moco, Kumu, Nappi, Shulinab, Parishara, Parikwarinau, Rupunau, Hiowa, Sand Creek and Quarry lamented the effects and impacts of the wildfires, forest fires and man-made fires in their communities. They stressed on the lack of manpower to formulate an efficient response effort, coupled with limited knowledge about the current dry season (El Nino phenomenon).

As part of an initial response, PAC committed to conducting assessments to ascertain how the critical areas of the region can be safeguarded from the blazes. Following the Prime Minister’s directive, the CDC collaborated with the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Guyana Fire Service (GFS) and the Community Policing Group (CPG) to establish an Auxiliary Firefighting Group (AFG) for the town of Lethem and other Rupununi villages.

More AFGs are expected to be engaged countrywide. The CDC provided a quantity of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Reservists, Community Policing Groups (CPGs) and Volunteers so that the response effort can be a safe and efficient task. Moreover, sensitization and awareness sessions will be intensified in the Region as the situation develops.

CDC’s team on the ground has surmised that most of the fires become rampant at night and early in the mornings, especially if there are strong winds. Footage from Moco-Moco, Kumu and other locations portray accurately how the fires spread. Personnel will continue to monitor this crisis while working with local authorities.