Authorities are trying to control a forest fire that has been active for eight days and has consumed more than 500 hectares of the upper part of the Las Alfombras páramo, in surroundings of the municipalities of Tota and Aquitania, in Boyacá.
According to Manuel Fernando Castellanos, director of the Departmental Risk Prevention Unit, As of this Wednesday, the departmental fire department has been trying to stop the flames.
“There have been other fires, but for now the one near Tota and the one in Boyacá remain active. The largest is in an area that is difficult to access, which is why we have already requested air support,” Castellanos said.
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🚨Firefighters in Boyacá are trying to control a forest fire that has already been active for eight days and has consumed more than 500 hectares of the upper part of the Las Alfombras páramo.
60 municipalities are on red alert.
All the information: https://t.co/XbohUaWHhq pic.twitter.com/92QglxgMYw
– THE WEATHER Colombia (@ColombiaET) February 5, 2023
The director of the unit also pointed out that there are 60 municipalities on red alert and 33 on yellow.
(It may interest you: Serious forest fire sets off alarms in the Cauca indigenous reservation).
Emergency in Cesar due to forest fires
The alert for possible forest fires remains in Cesar. The most affected area is El Cerro Alguacil, jurisdiction of Pueblo Bello (Cesar). where the conflagration devastated 100 hectares of native forest, which was controlled with the help of a group of soldiers who serve in this area of the department.
In Valledupar, fires have also been recorded in recent days, especially in mounted lots located north of this town.
According to the report of the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (IDEAM), the municipalities with a high risk of forest fires are: Aguachica, Agustín Codazzi, Becerril, Chimichagua, Chiriguaná, Curumaní, González, La Gloria, La Jagua de Ibirico, Pailitas, Pelaya, Pueblo Bello, Rio de Oro, San Alberto, San Diego, San Martin and Valledupar. With less risk, but under observation, are El Copey, La Paz and Manaure.
Odacir Camargo, head in charge of the Departmental Office for Departmental Disaster Risk Management, activated a permanent monitoring protocol, while ordering the uninterrupted provision of information and advice to the authorities of these municipalities so that they correctly apply the strategies forest fire prevention.
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The causes that generate this type of conflagration is the lack of rain and the high temperatures that have been registered since last December in the northern rural area of Valledupar.
To deal with the impact of this year’s dry season, a Departmental Council of Irrigation Managementwhere mayors, relief agencies, environmentalists and the departments of Environment, Agriculture and Government of the Department participated.
During the meeting, the risk levels of each municipality and the effects that forest fires could generate were analyzed in order to apply the correct protocols.
“The corresponding requirements were made to the mayors and coordinators of these dependencies of each municipality, so that in the shortest possible time they articulate and promote the actions established in the risk reduction program, which establishes mitigation and prevention measures that are adopted with advance notice to reduce threats or minimize damage caused by forest fires,” Camargo stressed.
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