Bolivia’s Interim President Jeanine Anez declared on Wednesday a national emergency after more than half a million hectares of forest have been burnt in Santa Cruz in eastern Bolivia.
Meanwhile, a decree permitting controlled burning for agricultural and livestock activities was annulled.
“Today, something very important and significant is happening: we are presenting two decrees. One to reinforce the fight against fire, and another to repeal the decree that allowed controlled burning,” Anez said during an event in the town of San Ignacio de Velasco in Santa Cruz.
Anez also instructed the Ministry of Defense to transfer its civil defense team so that it could work with the Ministry of the Environment and local governments to address the crisis.
Minister of the Presidency of the Interim-Government Yerko Nunez reiterated at a press conference that the Forest and Land Authority has been instructed to put out the fires in vulnerable areas.
According to the Forest and Land Authority, 598,716 hectares of area were affected by fires in the first week of September.