Bogotá Hills Fire: Efforts to Extinguish Devastating Blaze and Countrywide Environmental Crisis

2024-01-23 10:12:15

Firefighters, Civil Defense and security forces have been working since Monday morning to extinguish a fire in the hills of Bogotá that has filled the east of the capital with smoke and that until tonight they have not been able to put out.

The fire began in the morning hours of this Monday, with a column of smoke visible from various parts of the city and which has spread over a wide area due to the wind.

These are the steep hills that border the city and separate it from the moor, more than two hundred people, including firefighters and soldiers, fight to manually extinguish the fire supported by vehicles.

The mayor of Bogotá, Carlos Fernando Galán, was at the command post from which the actions to control the forest fire are monitored.

Galán pointed out that 205 people from different district and national entities have supported the efforts to put out the flames, “a manual intervention was initially carried out because the site where the fire is is a point where vehicles cannot reach, and air support was requested,” he stated.

Galán explained that on Monday afternoon two helicopters, one from the Fire Department and another from the Air Force, helped with the tasks, which made 16 discharges of 400 gallons of water each to try to put out the fire.

According to the authorities, the overflight of helicopters from the Fire Department and the Air Force will resume at 6:00 a.m. this Tuesday, since during the night hours, for safety reasons, said work cannot be carried out. .

Fires in the country

This fire adds to the wave of fires unleashed in the country, which is experiencing an increase in temperatures and droughts caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

More than 300 hectares were devastated this weekend in the department of Santander by several forest fires in the towns of Floridablanca and Piedecuesta.

The fires have not left anyone dead or injured so far, but the environmental situation is serious.

The National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) reported that from November 3 to January 20, 237 forest fires have occurred that have affected 131 municipalities.

The flames have consumed 3,523 hectares of vegetation and the most affected departments are Vichada, on the border with Venezuela; Santander, Cauca and Boyacá.

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