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Smoke from Fires in Bolivia Near Paraná River, Brazil

21.9S 52.3W

August 27th, 2010 Category: Fires, Rivers

Smoke from Fires in Bolivia - August 24th, 2010

Smoke from fires raging in Bolivia spreads over southern Brazil and northern Argentina. Here, a wide segment of the Paraná River in Brazil can be seen near the cloud of smoke, which crosses the image from the north to the southeast.

The Brazilian government has admitted that it cannot fight the fires adequately because of a lack of water-bombing aircraft, and has requested help from neighbouring Brazil and Argentina.

A Bolivian government official reported that many villages and small towns were at risk from the fires, as well as parks. Many people have been trying to tackle the fires with buckets of water.

Most of the fires were started for agricultural purposes: indigenous people and small farmers in the Amazon region have traditionally burnt large tracts of land to increase areas of cultivation. This year, however, insufficient rainfall and strong winds have made the fires very difficult to keep under control. As forecasts do not indicate rain in the next few days, these problems are expected to continue.

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