Wild fires will cost Colombia US$40 million

Damage caused by recent wildfires will cost Colombia some US$40 million, the country’s deputy environment minister said.

In an interview published in newspaper El Tiempo on Saturday, Claudia Mora said that in the first two weeks of 2010 almost 6,000 hectares of forest were destroyed by fire, affecting more than 115 municipalities.

The most severely hit by the fires are the Cundinamarca and Boyaca departments, the official said.

The US$40 million will be needed to replant forests and re-establish the areas’ water supply.

The authorities blame the forest fires on extreme drought caused by weather phenomenon El Niño, which is causing extremely dry weather throughout Colombia.

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