On Thursday, October 1, the National Congress unanimously approved a bill to declare a national emergency for the whole country for a period of ninety days due to thousands of wildfires burning across Paraguay. The declaration of an emergency allows for the full mechanisms of the state to be deployed to tackle the fires and also for international assistance. The government also approved a bill to ease the release of volunteer firefighters. Public officials will be released to fight the fires and the private sector is being urged to do the same. Thousands of fires have broken out in recent weeks, fuelled by strong winds and high temperatures. Fires have been reported in the Cateura landfill site in Asuncion and Remanso on the capital's northern outskirts. Other major fires are burning in Alto Paraná, Areguá, Caazapá, Canindeyú, Capiatá, Luque, Limpio, Paraguari, Pozo Colorado, Presidente Hayes, and Puerto Pinasco.
Further spread of the fires is possible in the near term. An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas.
Those in the vicinity of the fires are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the affected area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities, including evacuation orders.
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