Bolivia issues “orange alert” for forest fires in 74 towns

La Paz, June 20 (UNI) Bolivia has declared an “orange alert” in 74 towns due to the growing risk of forest fires caused by arson or clearing for crops, Deputy Civil Defense Minister Juan Carlos Calvimontes said here.

The “orange alert” is an urgent call for action to prevent an environmental or economic disaster, Calvimontes told a press conference on Wednesday.

He said that forest fires were a direct consequence of agricultural practices that got out of control.

This time of year “everything is dry,” Calvimontes said, calling on farmers and ranchers to ensure that their use of fire to clear land for crops or cattle does not “turn into forest fires.”

The eastern department of Santa Cruz has been hit the hardest, he added.

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