Samoa’s Fire and Emergency Services Authority (FESA) were quick to contain a bushfire that broke out in the scrub vegetation area just past Faleolo International Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire broke out at about 1pm and affected an area spanning more than 300 metres along the main road going towards Mulifanua. By about 3:30pm the whole area was brought well under control by firefighters.
Fire Commissioner Tanuvasa Petone Mauga warned that with little to no rain in the past few months, Samoa is susceptible to fires especially bushfires in these extremely dry conditions.
“We ask the public to please be careful. It may look green on top but the dryness below is like a ticking bomb,” said the Commissioner.
“With the midday sun beating down, and these strong winds, it only takes a small spark and this is what can happen,” said Tanuvasa.
Across the road from this area is a huge acreage of forest land that spans the three kilometers from Faleolo International Airport to Mulifanua Wharf, and the Fire Commissioner said this had been their priority today.
“We can’t afford to have a similar fire break out on that side of the road; with the dense forest and these dry conditions, the spread would be quick and to be honest we just don’t have the capacity or the equipment to deal with that extent of a bushfire,” said the Commissioner.
“This here today is a warning for us, and we urge the public to please take care when discarding cigarette butts, or even rubbish where a piece of glass can reflect heat off the sun’s rays and trigger a fire in these dry conditions”, explains Tanuvasa.