Colombia battles huge forest fire

Colombia battles huge forest fire

11 July 2006

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Colombia — The Colombian government has asked for international help to tackle a huge forest fire that has been burning since the weekend in a national park.

Environmentalists say the destruction in the park, in Colombia’s centre-west region, is disastrous.

About 400 firefighters have brought parts of the fire under control but they have been hampered by winds.

Los Nevados Park spans some 58,000 hectares (143,300 acres), including some of Colombia’s highest mountains.

The authorities say they have managed to dampen some of the flames but are calling for international expertise to help limit the extent of the damage.

It is thought the fire, which began on Saturday, has so far destroyed up to 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres).

There has been concern that the fire could reach some settlements in the park.

Strong winds have prevented firefighters from using aerial spraying to tackle the fire.

Los Nevados is home to a wide range of wildlife. 


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