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Bolivia Is Fighting Major Forest Fires Nearly As Large As Brazil's


Added 09-18-19 10:07:01am EST - “Firefighters, troops and volunteers have been working for the past two months to put out some of the worst blazes in the country's recent history.” - Npr.org

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Npr.org: “Bolivia Is Fighting Major Forest Fires Nearly As Large As Brazil's”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

An area affected by forest fires in Otuquis National Park, in the Pantanal ecological region of Bolivia, southeast of the Amazon basin. Aizar Raldes/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

An area affected by forest fires in Otuquis National Park, in the Pantanal ecological region of Bolivia, southeast of the Amazon basin.

Six volunteer firefighters use machetes to cut a path through the vines and underbrush of the Chiquitano forest in Bolivia's eastern lowlands. They're approaching the leading edge of a fire that's been burning for hours.

They attempt to smother it with shovelfuls of dirt and water they carry on their backs in tanks normally used to fumigate crops. But the smoke is getting thicker, the heat stronger and swirling winds push the flames forward. Realizing they are overmatched, José Zapata, the only trained firefighter among the group, orders his men to pull out.

"The fire was coming from many sides," Zapata explains as he leads a hasty retreat to the relative safety of a nearby road. "We could have gotten trapped."

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