Press Release: Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), hereby advises that we are experiencing severe dry conditions (El Nino) across Guyana making it conducive to wildfires. Imagery below indicate that wildfires are currently widespread across Guyana and in other countries in this hemisphere. These fires are primarily due to spontaneous combustion and possibly exacerbated by human activities.

Furthermore, activities such as burning of rice fields, farmlands, construction waste, cleared vegetation and garbage in and around communities may have resulted in several of these fires spreading into nearby bushes and the forest. All factors considered; these fires are causing smoke to blanket communities (downwind) thereby affecting human health. Over the past few days, this has been more evident during evenings and early mornings along Corentyne, the East Bank Demerara corridor, and Georgetown, with air quality being moderate to unhealthy.

Consequently, to prevent and avoid further exacerbation of wildfires, the EPA is calling on all citizens to play their part, including rice farmers, residents and all stakeholders to desist from burning rice fields, farmlands, construction sites and garbage during this period.

Please be advised that a National Wildfire Crisis Management Committee led by the Civil Defense Commission (CDC) is addressing this issue and will be boosting surveillance to prevent, detect and hold persons accountable. 

For additional information or assistance contact the: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): 226-5467, 225-5471-2