- Title: 'The fire is uncontrollable' - Boliva struggles to halt blazes
- Date: 25th September 2019
- Summary: SANTISIMA TRINIDAD, BOLIVIA (SEPTEMBER 24, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS, FIRES BURNING IN BRUSH AND TREES FIRE ALONGSIDE ROAD SMOKE RISING PERSON BATTLING FLAMES VARIOUS, FIRE IN BRUSH LOCALS RUN FROM FLAMES (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, CANDIDO SALEYE, SAYING: "Yes, the fire is uncontrollable here. And, the fire is coming from the community of Santa Monica, Rio Blanco, and it's getting close, three kilometers (1.8 miles), from the community of San Fermin. The fire is out of control and it's unbearable, we're asking for more help here." MILITARY VEHICLE DRIVES BY FLAMES FIRE IN BRUSH VARIOUS, FIREFIGHTERS AND FLAMES VARIOUS, FIREFIGHTERS FIGHTING FIRE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, CANDIDO SALEYE, SAYING: "There's little left from what's been burned. We need assistance and for (the government) to declare a natural disaster in this province of Nuflo de Chavez, because all the cattle is dying, we need water, we need help here in the municipality of Concepcion." FIREFIGHTERS BATTLING FLAMES VARIOUS, CATTLE ON RANCH COW GRAZING VARIOUS, MAN HURRIES TO FIGHT FIRE THAT IS COMING CLOSE TO HIS PROPERTY MAN BATTLING FLAMES VARIOUS, LOCAL RESIDENT IN HER HOME VARIOUS, LOCAL RESIDENT, JUAN CARLOS APONTE, ON HIS PROPERTY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL RESIDENT, JUAN CARLOS APONTE, SAYING: "What are we going to do? The fires is getting close and it's possible that my home could burn, and we can't do anything." SMOKEY LANDSCAPE SUN SEEN THROUGH SMOKY SKY
- Embargoed: 9th October 2019 15:00
- Keywords: Bolivia Bolivian Evo Morales burn savannah flames firefighters environment forests wildfires
- Location: SANTISIMA TRINIDAD, BOLIVIA
- City: SANTISIMA TRINIDAD, BOLIVIA
- Country: Bolivia
- Topics: Disaster/Accidents,Fires,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001AY5PTTZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Although they are making a valiant effort, Bolivian firefighters are losing the battle against the blazes raging in the eastern part of the Andean country.
The fires this year are Bolivia's worst in at least two decades, with the size of burned land across the country nearly doubling in under three weeks, destroying swaths of biodiverse forest and ranches and farms that sustain thousands of people.
Bolivian volunteer firefighters, exhausted from battling blazes sweeping rapidly across the country's lowlands, are starting to lose hope and retreat from the front lines of some infernos in the drought-stricken region.
Local firefighters with Bolivia's volunteer-based force have said they are poorly equipped with little more than backpacks of water, hoses and machetes, lacking heavy machinery to clear debris and stop fires from advancing.
Lowland regions have been racked by a drought fuelled by an expansion of cattle ranching and soy farming in forested regions, making traditional slash-and-burn practices increasingly risky.
Wildfires in Bolivia this year have spread over 4.1 million hectares (16,000 square miles) through Sept. 15, up from 2.1 million hectares less than three weeks earlier, according to the Bolivian environmental group Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza.
The area burnt this year has already topped the previous record since the turn of the century, 3.8 million hectares in 2010.
(Production: Santiago Limachi)
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