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El único Panamá - Week 4

Welcome to our weekly series about the uniqueness of Panama!

Fires but not Wildfires!


During summer or dry season it is common to see smoke and soot in the air as farmers and home owners burn their fields to remove unwanted plants and shrubs in a quick, cheap and easy manner. These are often referred to as 'prescribed burns'. Some say they improve the health of the field by returning nutrients to the land.

Since Panamanian houses are constructed of concrete block and tin roofs house fires are rare. No one seems to get excited if it is in a field or woods without homes, the fire just buns itself out. On occasion the Bomberos de Panama will be called to contain a fire that has gone astray. When an area burns every couple of years there isn't enough undergrowth to fuel a large dangerous wildfire like you see in other countries.

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