Seychelles firefighters battling forest fire at Port Launay
Smoke amongst the dense forest indicating the area where the fire broke out last night at Port Launay. (Patrick Joubert, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - More than a hundred firefighters and volunteers persisted throughout the night on Saturday and again on Sunday to help contain a forest fire at Port Launay in the Port Glaud district, on the western coast of the Seychelles most populated island of Mahe.
This is the second forest fire in the same district within three days, after the one which broke out on Thursday evening.
The fire that started at dusk spread rather quickly fuelled by strong winds.
Several endemic palms and other plant species have been destroyed by the blaze.
A resident of Port Launay explained to SNA how he went to the site along with a few other people to help put out the flames but had to turn back as the fire was too intense.
“The firefighters could not intervene to put out the fire last because it was difficult to find their way through the rugged terrain. Unfortunately, we had to allow the fire to continue burning," the spokesperson of the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency, Jones Madeleine, told SNA in an interview.
Various emergency services were deployed to monitor the situation throughout the night and ensure that the fire does not change course.
Health officials were also mobilised to advise nearby residents on what to do to so as not to inhale too much smoke.
“This morning, we surveyed the area using a helicopter and the fire seemed to be under control,” said Madeleine.
As the area is quite isolated with no nearby water source, the firefighters had to create firebreaks to prevent the flames from spreading further.
“At the moment, the fire is under control. As soon as it dies down, the firefighters will go through and inspect every single tree to put out the last remaining sparks that might help reignite the fire. We hope to have this done by the end of the day,” the Director General of the Division of Risk and Disaster Management Paul Labaleine, told SNA.