FIRE DEPARTMENTS have responded to 19 brush fires since the start of Carnival celebrations and the perpetrators will be facing heavy sanctions
A report by the Carnival Joint Task Force (FTC) said that most of the fires were in the provinces of Coclé and Veraguas.
Gabriel Isaza, the fire department's national deputy director, said that "all the weight of the law" must fall on those who intentionally start the fires to clear undergrowth.
The Ministry of the Environment has established heavy penalties for those who
incur environmental crimes during the Carnival operation ranging from $500 to $2,000.
In the case of burning materials, the amount of the fine depends on the size of the fire and whether or not it affects a protected area.
The fines imposed must be paid within 30 days of issuance or additional penalties may be imposed.