Colombia –– Bogota – Forest fires have destroyed more than 13,820 hectares since last June in Colombia, which is facing a very dry season intensified by the El Nino weather phenomenon, said authorities.
A total of 440 fires have broken out during this period, which began June 1, the National Disaster Management Office, or UNGRD, said in a report.
Of that total, four remain active, among them one in the rural part of Argelia, a town in southwestern Cauca province, where the armed conflict between the government and guerrilla groups has affected efforts to extinguish the flames.
The activities to control the fire in Argelia, which has been burning for more than two weeks, are being undertaken by personnel from the emergency management office and local volunteers, an official told EFE.
The weather service has forecast that Colombia from January through March next year will suffer a very pronounced drought due to the effect of El Nino, a weather phenomenon that appears when the Pacific Ocean heats up slightly.