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  • Fires across Paraguay

    Fires across Paraguay | Photo: EFE

Published 9 September 2019

The authorities are assessing the disaster that is part of a series of wildfires that began August 16.

In less than a month, wildfires in Paraguay have destroyed over 240,000 acres in areas of the country that border Brasil and Bolivia.

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The Department of National Emergencies (SEN) said that 200 volunteer and professional firefighters are combatting the flames with the use of two hydroplanes in the affected Chovoreca region. 

The measures taken by Paraguayan authorities are centered in the regions of most urgent need, Chovoreca in the northwest and Vizcaina in the east, said SEN director, Joaquin Roa. 

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo visited the regions and the fires recently.

Statista.com shows that "there have been oore than 10,600 wildfire outbreaks in Paraguay between January 1 until August 26 of 2019, up from approximately 9,700 wildfires recorded during the same time period last year."

Paraguay fires 2
The wildfires in Paraguay have spread across 240,000 acres and authorities struggle against the outbursts that also endanger parts of Brasil and Bolivia/ Photo: EFE

The director of the World Wildlife Fund of Paraguay, Lucy Aquino, exposed the dire consequences the disaster has on the environment, for the scorched areas are significant sources of wildlife diversity.

Part of El Pantanal, the world's largest wetland system that stretched across Bolivia, Brasil and Paraguay, has also suffered from the fires, and was one of the areas that first began burning.

The catastrophe taken a toll on Indigenous comunities that inhabit the locations, and it will also bring economic losses for nearby landworkers.

There is a possibility that the fires could be of human origin, due to the extended practice of farmers of burning the grass for higher quality pasture, according to Aquino.

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