Colombia firefighters lack proper resources: Fire department head

Posted on Apr 6 2014 - 12:12pm by Rico

Fire departments in Colombia are experiencing shortages of the equipment and resources necessary to fight fires in half of the country, said Captain Oscar Mejia, reported Caracol news.

Oscar Mejia, the Director of the National Association of Fire Departments in the central Colombian state of Caldas, said that 50% of local regional government officials and authorities do not know the federal regulations requiring a sufficient allocation of equipment and resources to their fire departments, reported Caracol.

Mejia reportedly asked that the central government force local governments to comply with national laws determining the distribution of funds and equipment to Colombia’s fire departments said, Caracol.

Climate change is having a large effect on Colombia, including high temperatures currently affecting many parts of Colombia, said Mejia.

Massive wildfires are engulfing the South American county’s northern coastal mountains, the Sierra Nevadas. The raging flames had claimed more than 7,400 acres of some of Colombia’s most beautiful and historic land by the end of last month.

MORE: Wildfire consumes over 3000 hectares in Colombia’s northern Sierra Nevada mountains

The coastal fires have become so bad that Colombia’s Air Force and Coast Guard have been called to help put out the blaze. A group of 40 expert indigenous fire fighters has also aided in the efforts.

Colombia’s Sierra Nevadas are the said to be the highest coastal mountains in the world.  The Sierra Nevadas is one of Colombia’s most bio-diverse regions and are home to a number of indigenous groups.


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