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Volunteers Join Firefighters at Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park

10/27/2017 - 10h49

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ANGELA BOLDRINI
SPECIAL ENVOY TO CHAPADA DOS VEADEIROS

More than a quarter of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park has been consumed by the largest fire in its history.

According to the latest report, on Tuesday (24th), 64,000 hectares (about 158,000 acres) of the Park's 240,000 hectares (593,000 acres), were hit by the fire.

The fire has changed the routine in the area - one of the major tourist attractions in the State of Goiás.

Locals blame the prolonged drought (and not the fire) for minor changes in their routine, such as shorter school days at the municipal school Zeca de Faria, or the recent lack of water in part of the houses.

The operation is using firefighting aircrafts, helicopters and a C130 aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) to fight the fire.

ICMBio and Ibama have a team of 215 people working overnight to put out minor fires. Firefighters have been working during the day to prevent the new fires.

In addition, more than 200 volunteers are also working at the base set up in the city's airport.

Everyone believes the fire was the result of arson.

"The person who set the fire knew what he or she was doing, in an area of the park where we were not operating, in the wind's direction, so that it would spread fast," states Christian Berlink, the ICMBio coordinator for fire fighting and fire prevention.

According to the teams, the cause is a territorial dispute, in view of the fact the national park's area was expanded in June.

Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA

Read the article in the original language

Ueslei Marcelino - 24.out.2017/Reuters
A volunteer works to put out a forest fire in an area of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, in Alto Paraiso, Goias, Brazil
A volunteer works to put out a forest fire in an area of Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, in Alto Paraiso, Goias, Brazil

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