Forest fires: low intensity, but not the alert

After the Colombian Amazon, Caquetá and Guaviare saw their territories burn by forest fires, and the alarms went off in the face of the impact it could have on places like the Serranía de Chiribiquete National Natural Park, capital cities, and the blows in another 550 municipalities, now the fire seems to be taking a step back.

Although the operations of the fire teams continue in some areas devastated by the flames, the situation is changing from serious to moderate, also thanks to some rains that have somewhat slowed down the impact of the smoke in other cities.

(Also read: New military operation in the PNN Chiribiquete to deal with deforestation)

Precisely, the Bogotá Air Quality Monitoring network indicated that moderate conditions (yellow) in all its seasons and in general there is a downward trend.

The entity reported that the rains on Saturday in some areas of the capital led to an improvement in air quality conditions, added to the change in meteorological variables such as the direction and speed of the wind, which reduced transport Regional pollution from the east and south of the country, generated by forest fires and agricultural burning.

“We had almost 15 days without rain and we are already having rains in some parts of the Orinoquia; This is going to help, but right now, with all the pressure of this strong summer, we are working to quickly reach the fire department, the National Risk Unit, the Military Forces and the Ministry of the Environment in permanent monitoring to be able to all the early warnings to each of the entities”, assured the minister of that portfolio, Carlos Eduardo Correa.

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According to information from the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Studies (Ideam), it has been more than a month and a half since the start of the dry season or less rainy season, and February would maintain these conditions in a large part of the national territory, being the Caribbean regions and precisely the Orinoquia the ones that present the greatest reduction in rainfall, as in the Andean region, except for its northern parts ey center, where there may be a slight increase in rainfall, forcing us not to lower our guard against forest fires.

“Ideam recommends increasing prevention strategies against the issue of forest fires. The presence of burning or forest fires in recent days can generate a variation or alteration in air quality, so it is necessary to increase protection measures,” added Yolanda González, director of Ideam.

Amazonia, on fire

The region where it has increased this situation of the burnings is the Colombian Amazon, according to data revealed by the Minister of the Interior, Daniel Palacios.
“We went from 38 events to 173 (…). Throughout the national territory, between December 15 of last year and February 5, 2022, there were 1,950 forest fires and prohibited burnings, in the same period”, he contextualized.

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He also made reference to the municipality of Calamar (in Guaviare), which was on red alert for presenting four fires. “One of these sources has already been liquidated, and the other three were controlled, and also liquidation process (…). But these four foci are not natural since there is criminal activity at the start of these fires.”

For his part, the minister of Defense, Diego Molano Aponte, pointed out that the dissidents who call themselves ‘Miller Perdomo’ were the cause of the forest fire that is registered in the Chiribiquete National Natural Park.

“They have systematically sought in the last four days to generate forest fires with two purposes: to destroy the forest to grab land and to develop illegal ranching activities,” he commented, in the framework of phase 14 of the Artemisa operation, which seeks to control deforestation in Colombia.