Forest fires in Bolivia have continued into another week in the Santa Cruz department, having burned a total of 2.1 million hectares (5.2 million acres) as of Monday, September 9. Environmental authorities have indicated on Wednesday, September 4, that the fires were mainly in protected national areas and forests, prompting them to declare a national disaster. Thousands of firefighters and forest staff have been reportedly engaged to fight the fires, though additional fires continue to start and spread, rendering efforts difficult. The forest fires have left a total of two victims.
Transportation and business disruptions are possible in the areas affected by the fires. Evacuation orders are not currently in effect but may be issued if the blazes continue to spread.
Individuals in Santa Cruz department are advised to monitor developments, exercise caution when traveling in areas near wildfires, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders).
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