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Fire in eastern hills spreads for several hours

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Fire in eastern hills spreads for several hours

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 Colombian capital with smoke and that until tonight they have not been able to put out.

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

Due to the complexity of the terrain – 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.

“We have had 205 people from different district and national entities all day. Initially, a manual intervention was carried out because the site where the fire is located is a point where vehicles cannot reach, and air support was requested,” he said.

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.

“Throughout the night the evolution of the fire will be reviewed to be able to enter again tomorrow with the helicopters, at this time and manually followed by a group of firefighters and other entities that are supporting the control of the emergency,” said the mayor. .

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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 (east) 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 agency detailed on Sunday that there were five active fires, two of them in Santander, those in Mogotes and Floridablanca.

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

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