The director of the Agency for the Supervision and Social Control of Forests and Land (ABT), Omar Quiroga, assured that the forest fires in Santa Cruz affected 223,164 hectares in 12 communities and accused the media of “enlarging” the issue.
Quiroga referred to press reports that more than a million hectares were burned in the departments of Beni and Santa Cruz alone. These data are based on a study by the Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza (FAN-Bolivia).
“The report by the Friends of Nature Foundation does not come close to the official data. It is not true because we keep a daily record. Fires broke out in 12 Santa Cruz parishes. With 176 thousand hectares, San Matías is the most severely affected municipality of four fire incidents. There are 18 events in these 12 parishes and they add up to 223,164 thousand hectares that would have been burned, that’s the official figure, “he said.
He claimed that the San Matías, Roboré and Puerto Suárez fires affected protected areas, but most of them were controlled.
Quiroga said that “the press, the media make it big, they show that the whole country and Chiquitanía are on fire, there are concrete sources and they are fighting,” he said.
He claimed that this management had fewer fires compared to previous years.