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Inadequacies in Forestry Department resources

The Forestry Department has been noted as having a shortage of resources since 2018 when the Forestry Department director addressed this problem in a note.

Few steps have been taken to improve this situation since the recent fire in Arakapas.

In 2018, the Department had 209 vehicles of which 12 were immobile, 105 were 15 to 24 years old and 84 had travelled more than 200,000 kilometers.

These conditions created many mechanical problems and higher maintenance costs, leading the Department’s director to suggest that all older vehicles should be replaced in 2019-2021.

For 2022, the director suggested that 15 vehicles should be bought each year to replace the obsolete ones.

In regards to the fire fleet, the Department had 47 large vehicles out of which 42 were functioning, and 45 small vehicles out of which two were immobile.

Additionally, 16 large fire vehicles are over 20 years and 18 small vehicles are over 15 years of age.

According to the Department director’s note, it was suggested that as of 2022 overage vehicles should be gradually replaced.

The director suggested the replacement of average fire-extinguishing machines and the purchase of new ones. He also suggested the establishment of three Rapid Response Teams as well as to increase the number of forest firefighters explaining that the area falling under the department’s jurisdiction has increased in recent years, now covering over 57% of free areas.

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