- Title: Bolivian firefighters in uphill battle against raging wildfires
- Date: 29th August 2019
- Summary: SANTA ROSA DE TUCABACA, BOLIVIA (AUGUST 28, 2019) (REUTERS) FIREFIGHTERS WORKING TO PUT OUT FIRE FIRE BURNING IN SHRUBS FIREFIGHTER DOUSING SMOKE EMBERS OF FIRE VARIOUS OF CHARRED TREES FIREFIGHTER AT SITE WHERE FIRE WAS PUT OUT SMOKE FROM FIRE FIREFIGHTERS WORKING AT SITE SMOKING EMBERS OF LOG FIREFIGHTERS AT SITE FIREFIGHTER WORKING TO PUT OUT SMOKE, FIRE AMONGST EMBERS VARIOUS OF FIREFIGHTER USING SHOVEL TO SUFFOCATE FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FIREFIGHTER, SARA CARDENAS, SAYING: "As a woman I feel happy, I feel capable, I feel strong and I will not leave until it (fire) is completely gone. I am happy to be here and to be able to help." CARDENAS WALKING AT SITE OF FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FIREFIGHTER, SARA CARDENAS, SAYING: "I'm a nurse by profession. I did some firefighting courses on putting out fires. It's also my job to keep (fire brigade) officials in good health, without injuries, checking their oxygen and looking after them, supporting them in putting out the fire." FIREFIGHTERS AT SITE WHERE FIRE WAS PUT OUT, SMOKE RISING FROM THE GROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FIREFIGHTER, SARA CARDENAS, SAYING: "I really like being a volunteer firefighter because I like to help. I can't explain it, it's something that makes me happy, the power to help, to be able to see that the other person is well, looking out for the common good. Us firefighters in Antofagasta have a motto, to save lives first and foremost. That encourages us every time. It doesn't matter that there's no reward or thanks. The important thing is that you feel good." VARIOUS OF FIREFIGHTERS AMONGST SMOKE AT SITE WHERE FIRE WAS RECENTLY PUT OUT FIREFIGHTER DRINKING WATER VARIOUS OF FIREFIGHTERS RESTING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FIREFIGHTER, SARA CARDENAS, SAYING: "I have two kids, my parents and my sister are looking after them. With just a phone call they look after them, they know that apart from being a nurse that this is what I love. So they give me space for this. They (Cardenas' children) are already big, they understand this and I want to give them this value in helping others and always being supportive." FIREFIGHTERS AT SITE WHERE FIRE WAS PUT OUT SMALL FIRE BURNING FIREFIGHTER AT WORK (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FIREFIGHTER, FREDY TORRES, SAYING: "There's some jealousy when working with women. Generally speaking women do not do this work, but you must go on, they (women) know this very well. The work of a firefighter, of a police officer is one of a lot of sacrifices. Not just here or in la Paz, but also in putting out fires in homes, buildings, forest fires like in this case." VARIOUS OF FIREFIGHTERS AT SITE, SMOKE RISING FROM GROUND SUN IN THE SKY INDIGENOUS FAMILY THAT FLED FIRES GIRL IN BACK OF PICK-UP TRUCK VARIOUS OF FAMILY THAT FLED FIRES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL THAT FLED FIRE, ROSARIO BURGOS, SAYING: "We left because we couldn't deal with the smoke. It was burning where we came from, we have hardly anything." FIREFIGHTER WITH FAMILY LOCALS ON DIRT ROAD FIREFIGHTERS AT WORK FIREFIGHTER CARRYING LARGE BOTTLE OF WATER
- Embargoed: 12th September 2019 05:03
- Keywords: Bolivia wildfires firefighters Santa Rosa de Tucabaca
- Location: SANTA ROSA DE TUCABACA, BOLIVIA
- City: SANTA ROSA DE TUCABACA, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Wildfires/Forest Fires,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AU9SX8N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Armed with just shovels and machetes, firefighters in Bolivia battled through hot weather on Wednesday (August 28) to smother a forest fire in Santa Rosa de Tucabaca, as the country struggles to contain raging wildfires.
The blazes are burning unabated across vast swaths of hilly forest and savannah near Bolivia's border with Paraguay and Brazil. At least 1 million hectares, or approximately 3,800 square miles, have been impacted by the fires, officials said.
Bolivia late last week contracted a Boeing 747 "Supertanker" from the United States to help with the fire-fighting. But in this dry part of the country, firefighters smothered flames using just machetes, shovel and dry earth.
Sara Cardenas is a volunteer firefighter, the only female on this force in Bolivia. Women firefighters are rare in this conservative Latin American country, but Cardenas' medical experience has proven invaluable to help victims of the fires.
Some 2,000 firefighters have been mobilized. But the country is amongst the poorest in the region, forcing many in the fire brigade to battle flames with whatever resources they can muster.
Thousands of wildfires are also decimating the neighboring Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest rainforest. The blazes have nearly doubled this year compared with the same period in 2018, prompting global outrage.
(Production: Santiago Limachi, Monica Machicao)
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