"On Jan. 25, forest fires started with relatively low pollution levels. However, as of Feb. 1, they began to grow, and today, over half of the stations in the city record regular-high levels of pollution," Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez recalled.
To counteract this situation, Lopez set up a specialized fire brigade to support the Guaviare and Orinoquia region’s officers extinguishing the fires. As a preventive measure, she ordered all public and private health entities to strengthen the human and technical infrastructure to deal with possible Acute Respiratory Diseases (ERA).
The Bogota mayor also urged the population to use masks and do not engage in physical or sporting activity in the open air until the amount of particulate matter present in the air is controlled.
Pre-election time in Colombia:
Right-wing paramilitaries dictate who to vote in some zones. Wave of assassinations, sabotage against the opposition. Especially leftists and progressives are very much under threat.
"If air conditions have not improved within eight days, we will take further restrictive measures, including transportation cancellation," Lopez warned, stressing that her office will always prioritize citizens’ health.
Experts agree that Colombia is likely to have this semester the worst fire season recorded in the national territory in the last 10 or 15 years due to the increasing drought, temperatures, and deforestation for livestock levels.
“It is time to learn that our quality of life depends on the correlation with the planet,” Bogota Council and environmental activist Susana Muhamad tweeted, adding that the current crisis demands that the national government decree climate emergency.