11 Apr 2019

Wildfires hit Saipan, Tinian

4:16 pm on 11 April 2019

The early onset of the dry season in the Northern Marianas has resulted in several wildfires on Saipan and Tinian.

Last Tuesday, a wildfire broke out near a school on Saipan, forcing its principal to suspend classes and send students home.

On the same day, a wildfire occurred near Saipan international airport and burned through areas of dry overgrowth.

The Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services said a fire remains active on Tinian's Kastiyu Plateau, but doesn't pose an immediate threat to any structures or residents.

The unusual start of the dry season is being blamed for the spate of fires, as both Saipan and Tinian received less than an inch of rain during March.

Rainfall has been abnormally low in the CNMI since January and low levels are set to continue through April and May.