Fires in Bolivia

News and Press Release
Originally published
The smoke is everywhere. The air in Guarayos is impossible to breathe and unbearable for the eyes. What was once pristine farmland is going up in smoke. A rural celebration meant to prepare the land for next year's harvest triggered fires across two provinces in Bolivia. With wind gusting at 100 km per hour, the fire spread quickly across 100,000 hectares. The government declared Guarayos and Moxos provinces "national disaster areas".
According to early estimates, 650 homes were destroyed. Nearly 3,000 people are sleeping in makeshift shelters, suffering from cold and hunger. The Santa Cruz branch of the Bolivian Red Cross, has sent volunteers to provide first aid and coordinate food distribution. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched an appeal for 200,000 Swiss francs to cover the basic needs of 3,000 people over two months.