Heavy rain has extinguished raging wildfires that have ravaged vast distances of Bolivia’s Chiquitantia tropical savanna.
A top sustainable development official in the Santa Cruz region, Cynthia Asin said, “It has rained all across Chiquitania. And our satellite no longer shows any active forest fire.”
An AFP report on October 6th indicated that firefighters had to wait some 24 hours to ensure all the fires had been extinguished.
The fire began in May and intensified towards the end of August, with fires scorching more than 4 million hectares of land.
In August, Bolivian authorities deployed special firefighting airplanes, a Boeing 747 and a Russian Ilyushin, as well as helicopters, 5,000 firefighters, soldiers and police officers to fight the raging blazes.
While the fires have been extinguished in the eastern regions of Bolivia’s Chiquitantia, there is still no confirmation if the fires raging in other parts of the country have been extinguished. This includes Tarija in the south and Cochabamba in the centre of the country.
Environmentalists have largely blamed leftist President Evo Morales, who has encouraged the burning of forest and pasture land to expand agricultural production.