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Seychelles endemic palms lost in Port Glaud fire

Port Glaud, Seychelles | February 13, 2015, Friday @ 15:11 in Environment » GENERAL | By: Rassin Vannier and Sharon Uranie | Views: 3378
Seychelles endemic palms lost in Port Glaud fire

It is estimated that some five hectares of land was destroyed in the fire. (Ministry of Environment and Energy) 

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(Seychelles News Agency) - Firefighters have almost completely extinguished a fire that has been ravaging an area of the Port Glaud district on the western coast of the Seychelles main island of Mahé since yesterday evening.

Several fire engines had to be deployed to help contain the blaze, which started at around 6:30 pm last night and spread quickly, aided by the wind.

The rugged nature of the terrain hampered the efforts of firefighters, who were only able to prevent the flames from spreading further at around 3:00 am local time with the help of nearby residents.

The blaze at Port Glaud Thursday evening. (Peter Allisop/Facebook) Photo License: CC-BY

"Firefighters have been on site since this morning and we managed to find a river to extinguish the last remaining flames that may pose a threat and reignite the fire,” the spokesperson of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency Jones Madeleine, told SNA.

"It was quite complicated making our way through the dense vegetation because it was dark, and the only thing we could do was to burn firebreaks to prevent the fire from spreading,” said Madeleine.

For safety reasons, several firefighters remained close to some houses that are not far from the fire throughout the night to ensure that the blaze would not pose a threat to these homes.

Firefighters have been battling the blaze since last night after the fire started at 6.30pm. (Ministry of Environment and Energy) Photo License: CC-BY

Approximately five hectares of forest are said to have been burnt by the fire.

Officials from the archipelago’s Ministry of Environment and Energy were at the site today to assess the damage, and have been able to confirm that several endemic plant species have been destroyed.

The place is known to be the home of several species of endemic palms and endemic bird species. 

The Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency and the police have started an investigation to determine the exact cause of the fire. 

Several endemic palms have been destroyed in the fire. (Ministry of Environment and Energy) Photo License: CC-BY
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