Chocó Forest Fire Continues Rage After Two Weeks

Posted on Mar 24 2014 - 1:32pm by Rico

Extensive areas of tropical forests have been burning incessantly for the last 13 days in the Colombian department of Chocó due to a devastating fire that has destroyed more than a thousand hectares in the municipality of Unguía.

Authorities have declared the state of public calamity, in view of the situation that has already caused the death of dozens of species.

Iván Márquez, director of the National Disaster Management Unit, said this categorization will allow national organizations to mobilize resources immediately in order to face the natural disaster in the jungle region.

According to authorities, control actions of all kinds have been taken, in an attempt to avoid the fire keeps spreading and reaches Los Katíos National Park, a natural reserve that was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994 and included in the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2009.

Chocó governor Efren Palacios has urged the central government to provide as soon as possible specialized equipment top put out the fire.

The fire has already devastated rice and banana crops and caused irreparable damages to the wildlife in northern Colombia, said Teófilo Cuesta, director of the Environmental Department in Chocó.