Less than four months after experiencing a devastating fire which led to the death of several animals and destroyed both flora and fauna in its path, the Waikin Ranch at Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo) has once again been plagued with another blaze.
According to information reaching this publication, the fire started at about 15:00h on Monday afternoon at the ranch. It is understood that no extensive damages have been caused since there was not much vegetation on the vast land owing to the last destructive blaze. In addition, staffers on sight managed to plough along the fences with a tractor to make a fire breakage.
In expressing frustration about the action suspected to be arson once again, co-owner of the ranch, Francesda Pires, explained to Guyana Times that such acts result in the destruction of the animals’ natural habitats.
But what is even more alarming, according to Pires, is the fact that there is no fire service in the area to assist the ranch or other areas whenever the need arises. Additionally, she highlighted that the roads are in a deplorable state, which also makes it impossible to access exterior help.
“The problem is it’s the habitat for the animals…in Lethem, there is only a volunteer sort of fire service, there’s no real fire service in Lethem and the roads are so bad it’s impossible for them to come out to us and to come put in the savannah. So people forget that this is rural area, so it’s not like you can fight fire like you can in the city,” Pires said.
The ranch has boundaries from the main Rupununi trail, the Ireng River, the Brazil border and the west and Pirara River. It covers almost 33,000 acres of mostly rolling savannah plains and is a sanctuary to hundreds of wildlife.
Back in April of this year, several acres of the ranch were destroyed by fire which blazed for almost three days before it could be contained. The aftermath saw a saddened scene with burnt trees and the carcasses of turtles, snakes, armadillos and mammals which could not survive or escape the inferno.
This had led the ranch officials to reach out for donations of seedlings to replant the savannah, as they were expected to be planted during the rainy season.