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Forest fire in eastern Cuba affects thousands of hectares

Havana, Mar 2 (Prensa Latina) More than 3,600 hectares of pine forests, grasslands and coffee trees have so far been affected by a big fire in Pinares de Mayari, in eastern Cuba, environmental authorities reported on Thursday.

Science, Technology and Environment Minister Elba Rosa Perez tweeted that experts from the provincial delegation of that ministry are following the evolution of the fire for an environmental evaluation.

The fire broke out on February 18 in Pinares de Mayari, Holguín province, one of the most important regions of the country in terms of biodiversity, 730 kilometers east of Havana.

According to the Granma newspaper, damage was reported to plants that are in danger of extinction, in a critical or vulnerable state, including the jasmine of Pinar (Euphorbia podocarpirolia), native to the area and considered the flower of Holguin.

According to reports, the flames reached the Mensura-Piloto National Park, a protected area since 2008 for being among the most biodiverse in Cuba and a refuge for valuable flora and fauna species.

Other areas that are in danger are the La Sabina trail, where a species of local pine trees of the same name grow and which have a high biological value, and the emblematic Poza de Rafael, where fortunately the fire has not reached.

Specimens of fauna such as mollusks and insects unable to escape have also been affected.

jg/mem/crc

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