Firefighters battle wildfires in rural areas near Cuenca; near Quito, fires have burned thousands of hectares and have covered the city in smoke

Sep 15, 2015 | 0 comments

It’s the wildfire season in Ecuador’s sierra region and Cuenca municipal firefighters joined rural fire departments on Monday in battling more than three dozen blazes, some of them still out of control. Military personnel have been called to help with several of the fires.

In the Cajas Mountains, fire fighters are forced to hike into remote areas to fight fires.

In the Cajas Mountains, fire fighters are forced to hike into remote areas to fight fires. Photo credit: El Teimpo

Fires continue to burn in the Yunguilla Valley, near Santa Isabel, in the Cajas mountains as well in several areas south of Cuenca.

Police have made three arrests for arson but say that other deliberately set fires were the result of agricultural land clearing that got out of control.

Firefighters say weather conditions are making their work more difficult as lack of rain, low humidity and high winds have been the norm for more than a week. Cuenca has seen no appreciable rainfall in almost two months and humidity readings dipped into the teens on Monday afternoon.

Thick smoke from wildfires hung over Quito on Monday. Photo credit: El Comercio

Thick smoke from wildfires hung over Quito on Monday. Photo credit: El Comercio

The fires situation is much worse near Quito, where thousands of hectares have burned, claiming the lives of five firemen and injuring scores of others. On Monday, heavy smoke covered much of the city and the health department recommended that those with respiratory conditions stay inside.

City officials say the fires, plus the eruptive conditions at the Cotopaxi volcano, are requiring the time of almost all of the city’s emergency personnel.

Meteorologists expect dry, windy conditions in the sierra to continue for several more days. They say that the conditions could be, in part, the affect of an approaching El Niño.

 

CuencaHighLife

Expat Community News

Dani News

Google ad

Fund Grace News

Veronica Arpi News

Gypsy News

Google ad

The Cuenca Dispatch

Week of February 25

Cuenca Finally Gets to Experience Van Gogh Like Never Before.

Read more

Ecuador lost just over a million hectares of forest formations in 38 years.

Read more

Drone Plants 1,500 Trees in 15 Minutes to Combat Deforestation.

Read more

Hogar Esperanza News

FAAN News

Subscribe to our newsletter

Cuenca High Life offers on-line publications, local translated news, and reports about the expat life and living in Ecuador. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!