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Jun 7, 2022

No Major Forest Fires in 2022, But Cattle Ranching Persists

What’s going on in the Chiquibul? While at Camp Belizario today, News Five caught up with Rafael Manzanero, the Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development. As you know, they co-manage the Chiquibul Forest in the west and work closely with the Forestry Department, the Institute of Archeology, B.D.F. and police to maintain the integrity of the natural and cultural resources of the Chiquibul Forest. The issues affecting this area primarily surround incursions by Guatemalan poachers, who continue to pillage the forest. Manzanero says that for some time now one of the major threats along the border with Guatemala is cattle ranching. But cattle ranching aside, back in 2020, forest fires damaged a little over twenty-two thousand acres of forests in three protected areas: Vaca Forest Reserve, Caracol Archaeological Reserve and the Chiquibul National Park. Manzanero says that the early rains have helped to prevent any major forest fires this year.


Rafael Manzanero,

Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, F.C.D.

“The main activity that we have been watching over the most recent weeks was the implications for forest fires in the area and of course the ongoing activity of cattle ranching which is still one of those major threats along the western border. Thankfully for this year because of the rains that really have come in much more earlier than anticipated, we did not really have had any major forest fires in the area, including Vaca, because Vaca is right along the western border too. So we are really thankful that we did not have any major forest fires this year and from what it looks, the weather is already changing so pretty much that won’t be any serious problem for now.”

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