Bolivia – Forest Fires (DG ECHO, COGIC, media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 08 September 2019)
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated on 29 August to fight forest fires in Santa Cruz, Beni and La Paz departments. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, 3.9 Million hectares have been burnt in Bolivia since the beginning of the year.
DG ECHO deployed one Rapid Response Coordinator from the regional office in Panama to La Paz and a European Civil Protection Team of 8 people. In addition, under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, 38 French fire-fighters and two agents from the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs arrived in Santa Cruz on 7 September to contribute to the fight against fires. On 8 September, a team with drones and an air investigation officer will complete the deployment from France by providing tactical reconnaissance and targeting by helicopter water bombers. As of 8 September, in-kind assistance such as rackets, masks, portable generators, pump backpacks, water backpacks, tents and shelters offered by France, Austria, Belgium and Sweden have been delivered. Additional offers from Belgium (water purification) and Sweden (tents) have been accepted in the last 24 hours and are expected to be delivered in the coming days.
The European Commission's Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service was activated for fires in Bolivia and Brazil on 24 August (EMSR383). On 8 September, the service was activated again by the Emergency Response Coordination Center on behalf of the Bolivian authorities to assess the current situation in San Ignacio de Velasco region (EMSR387).