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Firefighters are working to put out the forest fires registered in two national parks in eastern Santa Cruz, as well as the fire that was reported in other regions of Bolivia.

Source: EFE

The Santa Cruz Governorate reported this Tuesday that 12 forest fires were registered in around 10 communities and municipalities in that region, according to information from the director of Natural Resources of the Santa Cruz Governorate, Yovenka Rosado.

Among these 12 forest fires, two were reported in Otuquis, which borders Paraguay and Brazil, and in the Noel Kempff Mercado National Park, both protected areas.

“Firefighters are working day and night to combat the flames, taking into account that these points are of magnitude,” Rosado said.

He added that heavy machinery and forest fire brigades were dispatched to work on these fires and a request was made to the Vice Ministry of Civil Defense for a helicopter to intervene by air.

The Otuquis park has an area of ​​more than one million hectares, is home to 1,647 species of plants, 700 species of mammals, 400 fish and another 1,100 species of butterflies, while the Noel Kempff Mercado is one of the main reserves in the country declared Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Five municipalities in Santa Cruz declared themselves “in disaster” due to the fires and are awaiting the “declaration of disaster” in two more municipalities, Rosado said.

He added that 43% of the department of Santa Cruz is at “extreme risk of fire occurrence” and that according to the early warning system, at least 145 sources of burning were detected this Tuesday.

Rosado pointed out that so far this month 1,190 sources of burning have been detected and in this administration they reached 18,930.

Firefighters, volunteers, the Bolivian Navy, the Army, Civil Defense and Government officials work hard to mitigate these fires by opening gaps with heavy machinery to prevent the fire from advancing, according to information from the Santa Cruz Government.

Fires were also reported in the Amazonian department of Beni that have already been put out, according to information from the Ministry of Defense.

The three reported fires were extinguished through joint action by land and air, together with the work of firefighters, personnel from the Armed Forces, the Beni Government, among others.

In 2019, the fire destroyed nearly 5 million hectares in the country and was considered one of the most serious ecological disasters in the last decade, as it also affected protected areas such as natural parks of high environmental value.

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