They seek to control forest fires in protected areas of Bogotá and eastern Colombia

2024-01-23 15:36:02

BOGOTÁ (AP) — Relief agencies were trying to control forest fires on Tuesday in the eastern hills of Bogotá and the El Tuparro National Natural Park, located in the east of the country, amid an increase in temperatures and a decrease in rain due to of the El Niño phenomenon.

The fire in the hills of Bogotá began on Monday and has since been contained with the help of firefighters and the overflight of drones with thermal cameras to identify hot spots.

At night the wind fanned it, so the affected area extended to 2.5 hectares, Mayor Carlos Fernando Galán told the press on Tuesday.

The eastern hills of Bogotá, an area declared protected, are located on the eastern mountain range of Colombia at heights ranging from 2,800 to 3,600 meters above sea level.

The director of the Fire Department, Paula Henao, explained that during the night they worked with manual tools such as hoses and did not discharge water with helicopters due to the “vegetation and the topography of the sector.”

A flight plan is scheduled for Tuesday with support from helicopters from the Colombian Aerospace Force, firefighters and the police.

A column of smoke at the top of the hills could be observed from the town of Chapinero, located in the center-north of the city.

Preventively, the mayor’s office asked three schools in the sector to cancel school days due to the impact on quality.

In the east of the country, another fire is affecting the El Tuparro National Natural Park, located in the department of Vichada and with great biodiversity, where tapirs, pumas and amphibian turtles live.

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The National Disaster Risk Management Unit indicated through its press office that it is coordinating a flight with the Aerospace Force to reconnoiter the affected area.

El Tuparro has been a protected area since the 1980s with approximately 557,000 hectares of surface.

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