Twelve municipalities in the Brazilian northern state of Acre declared a state of emergency on account of the smoke emitted by burnings in Mato Grosso, Rondônia, and Bolivia, as well as hundred of fires within the state itself.
According to the acting secretary of the Acre Institute of the Environment (Imac), Fernando Lima, the smoke that is already blanketing nearly all of the state is being brought to Acre, which is located on the Brazilian border with Peru and Bolivia, by cold fronts originating in the Southeast and South of Brazil.
“We also have 244 blazes of our own, and we are asking people not to set fire to their pastures, to keep the fire from spreading,” he remarked.
Lima said that the smoke has abated in the last two days, improving visibility, but the climate remains dry, with the relative humidity at around 30%.
“Teams of firefighters and farmers are working to put out the fires, and the Civil Defense office has already assumed responsibility for containing them,” he said.
Priority is being given to areas of environmental protection and ecologicial reserves.
Upon orders from Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Minister of National Integration, Ciro Gomes, a team of experts from the Disaster Response and Reconstruction Department of the National Civil Defense Office (Sedec) is arriving in Acre today to help the state government in the firefighting effort, the identification of the causes, and the analysis and prevention of forest fires.
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