Fires destroy acres of vegetation on Tinian, Rota


Brush fires of still unknown cause destroyed several acres of vegetation on Tinian and Rota over the weekend.

This developed as the U.S. National Weather Service issued Sunday a red flag warning for Guam, which means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly.

A combination of strong winds, low humidity, and warm temperature will create ideal conditions for the rapid spread of wildfires, the service warning said.

Last Tuesday, USNWS said dry weather persists across the Marianas and little change is expected the next couple of weeks. USNWS warned that fire danger continues to increase as strong winds in the next couple of days will cause any fires that do occur to spread faster.

Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services spokesman Derek Gersonde said that last Friday DFEMS Tinian received a call at 7:40pm about wildland fire at Marpo Heights. Firefighters immediately responded and controlled the blaze at 11:30pm Friday.

Gersonde said a total of 10 wildland fires were reported at Marpo Valley on Tinian until Saturday.

He said DFEMS received numerous calls reporting multiple wildland fires on Tinian’s North Field.

On Rota, a bush fire occurred in Gampapa area on Saturday, but no one was reported injured.

Gersonde advised people to refrain from burning as the dry season is upon the CNMI.

“Due to high winds, a small fire can turn into a wildfire,” Gersonde said.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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