Bolivia declares national disaster due to magnitude of forest fires

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The interim president explained that the objective of this measure is “to help the possible victims and protect the environment and animals.”

The interim Government of Bolivia declared this Thursday the situation of national disaster due to the magnitude of the forest fires in various regions of the country, to facilitate more means in the fight against fire, including with international support.

“To help the possible victims and to protect the environment and animals”, is the objective of this declaration, said the transitional president of the country, Jeanine Áñez.

The interim president communicated this statement in Santa Cruz, capital of the region of the same name and one of the most affected in Bolivia by these fires.

“We are declaring a national disaster due to drought and fires,” he commented at a press conference.

Áñez argued that they exist “strong threatsWe would not want what happened last year to happen, therefore (…) now we are still on time. “

Last year the fire razed nearly five million hectares in the country, according to official data, while until August of this year there were less than a million according to different studies.

The decree declaring a disaster warns of the difficult access conditions to many burning areas that firefighters, including the military, are having.

The wind and high temperatures complicate the tasks to control and extinguish these fires, which affect five of the nine regions of the country, according to the interim government of Bolivia.

The declaration allows the Ministry of Economy to allocate the necessary resources for this task, it authorizes the Ministry of Defense to support regions and municipalities that need it and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to channel possible international aid.

Before this national declaration, the regions of Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca had declared a disaster in their departments, where volunteer firefighters from Spain already work in some places.

The fires in Santa Cruz, in eastern Bolivia, threatened days ago around a hundred families scattered in rural areas and a national park, among other areas of high environmental value, with thousands of hectares burning in adverse weather conditions for the Tasks of extinguishing some fires that the authorities denounce are mostly caused.

Last year the then government of Evo Morales was questioned for not having declared a national disaster when the fires affected thousands of hectares in Bolivia.

Source: EFE

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