Ban on lighting fires enforced in Seychelles following weekend bushfires
File Photo: Firefiighters working to ensure that the fire which broke out on Thursday in the Port Glaud district is put out completely. (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A ban preventing people from lighting outdoor fires has come into force in the Seychelles as of today.
The “temporary ban on all fire permit” has been enforced by the island nation’s Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.
It follows at least two incidents of bushfires over the past few days in the Port Glaud district, on the western coast of the main Seychelles island of Mahé.
According to a statement issued by the ministry this afternoon any person “caught lighting fire whilst the ban is in force will be prosecuted”.
A first bushfire reported last Thursday evening burnt some 5 hectares of vegetation destroying endemic palms and other endemic species.
The second fire at Port Launay in an area which is part of the Morne Seychellois National Park was reported on Saturday.
The Director General of the Division of Risk and Disaster Management Paul Labaleine told SNA that twice as much vegetation was burnt as a result of the second fire incident.
The fire ban is but one of a series of recommendations agreed upon by different stakeholders after assessing the situation and damages caused by the fires, this morning.
Labaleine has said that the ban will be reinforced with regular patrols by law enforcement authorities including the police to ensure that people are complying with the measures.
More effective communication mechanisms for the release of information and contacting responders, availability of transport for rapid response are some of the other recommendations that have been tabled.
Some 23 firefighters were joined by over a hundred other people from the Division of Risk and Disaster Management (DRDM), the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, the police, National Parks Authority as well as other volunteers to help contain the fire at Port Launay on Sunday.
Thus, the need to have a registry of volunteers in case of such incidents in the future as well as additional protective gears and firefighting equipment for the volunteers to use is also another key recommendation.
According to Labaleine, the cost of having to respond and tackle the two fires over the weekend amounts to between $86 thousand to a little over $100 thousand.