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Wildfires rage in Bolivia's eastern lowlands

Wildfires are sweeping across Bolivia's eastern lowlands, putting at risk thousands of hectares of an area known for its rich wildlife that was hit by major fires just two years ago.

The fires have been devastating the towns of Robore and San Matias in the department of Santa Cruz. Strong winds have made the task of controlling them more difficult. Firefighters and other institutions have been trying to douse the flames without success. 

On Saturday, the government announced it would send support brigades to the affected area.

The Vice Minister of Civil Defense, Juan Carlos Calvimontes, said a brigade would be sent to contain the fire that is approaching neighboring communities. He added that a tank car had was deployed to the San Antonio de la Sierra community to put out flames. 

Additionally, authorities said a "Super Puma" helicopter had been deployed to the area in order to discharge water.

In 2019, widespread fires ravaged the lowland area's Chiquitano forest, a biodiverse region home for centuries to many Bolivian indigenous groups, prompting protests demanding government action.

(Source: Reuters) 

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