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Emergency declared in Quito wave Wildfire

Quito said Wednesday, September 16, 2015, a state of emergency to deal with a wave of forest fires in the vicinity of the Ecuadorian capital, that killed three firefighters, 22 injured and nearly a thousand hectares burned in recent weeks. Mayor Mauricio Rodas "signed the emergency declaration", allowing you to free up financial resources and enlist the help of police and military to fight fires, as noted in a statement the municipal service information. "With this operational capability (...) be strengthened and asked the Armed Forces and the National Police cadets of the support and coordination of actions in the fire control," the message. With 2.3 million inhabitants, Quito and its rural areas have borne the brunt of the wave of fires affecting eight of the 24 provinces of Ecuador. Since the fires began in the capital, in late June, three firefighters have died, 22 were injured and 960 hectares of forest were consumed by flames, he told AFP the municipal secretary of Security, Juan Zapata. Nationwide have burned about 2905 hectares of forest, according to a balance of the authorities released on September 5. Tuesday was one of the most critical to Quito because of the fires that were activated simultaneously days. A thick smoke enveloped several parts of the city center, even flames could be seen behind the buildings. Late at night 50 people were evacuated to a sports arena in northern Quito. Wednesday crews battled five fires around the capital. Strong winds and high temperatures of this time of year hinder the work of firefighters. A group of 142 firefighters came to Quito from other parts of the country to join the work of extinguishing the fire. On Tuesday the government of Rafael Correa requested help from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela to contain the spread of forest fires. Authorities suspect that several emergencies have been caused intentionally or by neglect of people performing burning garbage in the open. The Government also activated a plan rewards of up to USD 50 000 for information on those responsible.

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