Petro confirmed declaration of natural disaster to respond to forest fire emergency

President Gustavo Petro explained what the disaster decree consists of with which he plans to deal with the fires in the country – credit Presidency and SNGRD

Given the problems that the country is experiencing due to the fires that are registered in the national territory, President Gustavo Petro confirmed that he will meet with all the ministers of his cabinet to agree on a decree due to natural disaster that gives the national government the ability to move items budgetary measures to confront conflagrations.

This was confirmed by the president from El Charco, Nariño, where He referred to the importance of having resources to put helicopters in the air, move tank cars and bring water to municipalities that do not have the service or that have little availability of it.

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“It is not an emergency, it is a natural disaster, it is a power that the Government has with the signature of all the ministers and the situation is declared and what it produces in practice is that some budget items can be moved to other items with “the purpose of solving problems that arise, such as transferring resources so that the helicopters can be put into operation.”

Regarding the decree, President Petro explained that It will last one year and will serve, among other things, to repair the damage caused by the fires, which were classified as climate victims.

“The decree allows us to move items to solve disaster problems, it is the same thing that is going to be done with Chocó in the case of the highway, this has a precise time, we will do it for a year so that it can even be repaired climate victims.”

Regarding international aid, Gustavo Petro stated that for now the idea is not contemplated, although the moment in which the emergency exceeds the response capabilities of the national government will be evaluated in the coming days.

Fire on El Cable hill, in Bogotá – credit Carlos Ortega/EFE

“We are going to evaluate the moment in which the circumstances exceed the capacity of the Government, of the State to solve problems, because we will also bring the international help that in these cases becomes fundamental and that we have given, for example, in the case of the fires in Chile.”

President Gustavo Petro also referred to the sum of factors that have generated the fire crisis in the country, as he explained that climate change was added to the El Niño phenomenon, which has generated an increase in temperatures that are the cause of water evaporation.

“The fundamental problem of this season is not only the absence of water, but the heat itself, which is what evaporates the water and produces the fire, it is an El Niño phenomenon aggravated because global warming is added to the Niño, it is That is, the climate crisis.”

These factors, added President Petro, must be addressed urgently in the future, as he assured that as the years go by, emergencies will become more difficult to manage, which is why he recalled his meeting with the newly installed mayors that took place carried out in Cali, in which he explained to them that the first thing they should do in their administrations was to attend to possible fires in the country.

Hundreds of frailejones were burned in Santander as a result of the voracious fires – credit National Army

Finally, President Petro assured that the State must have the capacity to help municipalities that do not have significant income that would allow them to develop actions to mitigate the consequences of the El Niño phenomenon in their territories.

“The small municipality does not have the capacity to carry out projects over time and a very large responsibility has been delegated, which is to mitigate the risk in entities that do not have the capacity, that is a competence that the nation must assume, above all, in the majority.” of the municipalities that are financially weak and that cannot be postponed any longer because every time we have climatic events, they will be worse and more difficult.”

Through your X account, The mayor of Bogotá, Carlos Fernando Galán, asked citizens not to approach the areas where conflagrations occur, since only members of relief organizations trained for this purpose should be present at the site.

Mayor Galán asked citizens to stay away from fire zones where only the presence of relief units is allowed – credit @CarlosFGalan/X

“Please avoid approaching areas where there are active fires: forest emergencies should be attended only by members of relief organizations and authorities who are trained and have the appropriate elements. Let’s take care of each other.”

The mayor confirmed that on the morning of Thursday, January 25, the helicopters will fly over the areas again to spread water in order to control the fires and He assured that the work will not stop, so the relief agencies will remain in the area throughout the night.

“The helicopters supported the work from the air throughout the day, but they cannot do it at night. First thing tomorrow morning they will support us again with air strikes. But the work does not stop and will continue manually throughout the night.”

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