Forest fires devastate 1.4 million hectares in Bolivia

From January to August of this year, according to the Deputy Minister for Civil Protection, Juan Carlos Calvimontes, on the basis of data from the Supervisory Authority and Social Control of Forest and Land (ABT).

Of the total affected areas, the largest amount corresponds to 67% in the Santa Cruz department, especially in the Chiquitanía region, while 26% corresponds to Beni, explained Calvimontes.

The authority said that at least 95% of the still active forest fires are already under control. The Santa Cruz region of San Matías continues to be affected. Deputy Department personnel, the Santa Cruz government, firefighters, volunteers, among others, are on duty to contain the situation.

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The places where the fires started are the same as in 2020 and 2019. At least 58 appearance notices have been issued to the owners of the places where the fire started, he said.

“Four (cases) are already in criminal proceedings and a few days ago the prosecutor received 21 additional cases for investigation,” he added.

Most of the fires originated from private properties devoted to livestock and farming, he said.

In 2020, a total of 5,021,820 hectares were affected, in 2019 5,305,512 hectares were counted.

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