In Mangilao yesterday, firefighters battled the most serious grass fire of the year to date.
A total of two firefighting trucks from the Guam Fire Department and two more from the Forestry Division were joined by Navy and Andersen firefighters.
According to the National Weather Service, Guam can expect more such fires as we approach the peak of the island’s dry season.
No one was injured in the Mangilao fire but with dry season well underway, NWS currently has Guam on a “high” fire danger alert
Brandon Aydlett, NWS meteorologist, said this week they’re looking at winds subsiding just a little bit, starting tomorrow, Thursday and Friday.
“But, next weekend, those winds are going to come back up again. So, just a heads up, pretty soon we’ll be in the very high and extreme fire danger categories,” Aydlett warned.
Aydlett says the peak dry months will be March to May and Guam can expect a typical dry season this year.
He says arid conditions and high winds create a serious danger for the island.
“The worst-case scenario is when you have strong enough winds that when the fires are burning, you start getting ash going up in the air and then that ash goes downwind maybe a half-mile or one mile, then it falls onto other dry grasses and it starts new fires,” Aydlett said.
Aydlett says Guam doesn’t typically have naturally occurring fires and that most of them are either mistakenly or deliberately set by residents.
Fires not only pose a health and safety concern for people, Aydlett says they also cause severe environmental damage.
Some easy steps to preventing a blaze include: keeping your yards cleared of debris, trimming your trees and shrubbery, and the obvious … don’t set anything on fire!
If you ever see flames anywhere, you’re asked to stay away and call 911 immediately.