The dry season has been sapping the green out of the jungle since early December and the dry forest is living up to it’s name “Dry”. Our biggest trees have dropped their leaves and the foliage on the others is hanging a bit limply. On the plus side it makes it easier to spot wildlife but on the other side it is getting hot and dusty!
The papagayo winds blow hard offshore, originating in the Caribbean and gaining momentum as they sweep across Lake Nicaragua. It equates to having Santa Ana’s every day from December to May. And unfortunately, like the Santa Ana or Mistral, they bring with them a high danger of fire.
That’s what we’ve been dealing with lately throughout the entire Guanacaste region. For days we were living in a haze of smoke as fires in the hills were making their way to the beach. The small volunteer fire brigades were overwhelmed and the fires spread rapidly. A helicopter was requisitioned from somewhere and it was making flights down to the ocean at Sandys to fill its buckets and go douse the flames. PJ and I took a little paseo through the hills by Alta Pinilla and had a look at some of the untended burns spread among the underbrush.
After about a week of heightened nerves and advancing fire, the wind changed direction for a day and blew the fire back onto itself and it pretty much extinguished the danger. The fires here burn mostly the leaf litter and smaller brush along the forest floor. The trees themselves don’t go up so it’s not the gnarly holocausts like we get back in California. There are still some random fires around the canton but our area seems to safe for now.