Paraguay declares state of emergency as wildfires spread

Paraguay declared a national state of emergency as wildfires have burned more than 600,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land.

Paraguay declares state of emergency as wildfires spread

Paraguay declared a national state of emergency as wildfires have burned more than 600,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land.

The government would release as much as 1.8 million dollars in emergency aid for victims of the blazes, which have burned for days in northern Paraguay, President Nicanor Duarte Frutos said Wednesday in Asuncion in declaring the emergency.

Paraguay has also rented a Russian firefighting plane for 1 million dollars, the president said.

The Ilyushin plane can carry 40,000 litres of water per flight and was expected to be deployed for about five days, the Ultima Hora newspaper reported.

The fires are burning in the departments of Concepcion, San Pedro, Amambay and Canindeyu. Amambay and Canindeyu are the home of important national parks containing endangered plants and animals.

Many of the fires have been blamed on land clearing by peasant farmers, a common practice in Paraguay. They was spreading rapidly because of a longtime drought, and meteorologists estimated that rain would come to the fire areas in 20 days at the earliest.

Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela have pledge help to Paraguay to fight the fires.

DPA

Last Mod: 13 Eylül 2007, 10:58
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