Bolivia: Forest fire Emergency | Situation Report No. 3 of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) (14 October 2019)


  • 18 municipalities are affected by the fires of which four were declared in emergency and six in disaster.

  • The first rains of the season helped to control forest fires; However, three hotspots in Concepción were reactivated yesterday.

  • Last weekend the sources of burning had been reduced to zero, but yesterday they rose to 47 and today 113 are registered, most of them are located in San Ignacio de Velasco and Concepción. More than 33 thousand bulbs accumulated so far this year.

  • The government has reported 14 homes destroyed by fires in four municipalities.

  • The death of a farmer has been recorded as direct cause to the fires control tasks; in addition to 4 volunteer firefighters in the incident areas due to indirect causes.

  • Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in coordination with the VIDECI has carried out a Damage and Needs Assessment (EDAN)

  • According to reports from the Santa Cruz Governorate, about 4 million hectares of different types of vegetation have been burned.

  • September closed with 11,884 hot spots, a historical record; 88% of heat sources focused on forest land and protected areas. According to the land use plan (PLUS), 58% of the heat sources were in forest land, 30% in protected areas, 4% in land for agrosilvopastoral use, 3% in agricultural land extensive, the other 3% in restricted use land and 2% in intensive agricultural use land. (COED Santa Cruz, with data from the Early Forest Fire Warning System - SATIF, 10/01/2019)

  • September 25, the number of hectares burned has risen to 5.3 million; of these 3.9 million ha burned (73%) are in Santa Cruz. 38% of the total burned area (more than 2 million hectares) corresponds to forests, while 62% (3.3 million hectares) is from non-forested areas. The municipalities with the largest area burned in Santa Cruz are San Matías (836,498 hectares), San Ignacio de Velasco (640,106 ha), Charagua (506,594 ha), Concepción (384,445 ha), Puerto Suarez (289,235 ha), San José de Chiquitos (265,943 ha), and San Rafael (254,434 ha).
    In August, the hectares burned were 105,000 daily; between September 15 and 25, 120,000 hectares were burned daily. (Friends of Nature Foundation -FAN, 09/30/2019)

  • The Otuquis, Ñembi Guasu and San Matías protected areas, Tucabaca Valley, Marfil Lagoon, Concepción Lagoon, San Ignacio Reserve, San Rafael Reserve, Black and White Rivers and Ramsar sites (wetlands of international importance) Pantanal have been affected Bolivian and. (Ministry of Environment, Santa Cruz Governorate, 10/08/2019); In addition, Noel Kempff Mercado National Park was in serious danger.

  • According to reports from the Santa Cruz Governorate, about 4 million hectares of different types of vegetation have been burned.

  • Regarding the humanitarian response, the national and the departmental government have concentrated on the provision of drinking water and for animal consumption, fodder, mineral salts and health care; while the municipal governments have been coordinating the support to attend the population with food, medicines and water.

  • As of October 9, the National Government had expended more than USD 24,2 million in firefighting, (Speech by the president of the Bolivian State in Santa Cruz)

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