A fire that started on Wednesday night in the area of the coastal resorts Las Vegas and the forest (southeast), destroyed a sawmill and caused damage to a house in the area, to which firefighters are still working to contain the fire.
According to local media reports, although the staff of the National Fire Department had contained the flames this Thursday morning in the Las Vegas area, it reactivated further east, around the forestwhere a “quincho” -straw shed- of a house was burned.
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The fire, which has igneous sources on both sides of the Interbalnearia Routethe main traffic artery on the southeastern coast of Uruguay, affected a nearby sawmill and spread rapidly as a result of gusts of wind of up to 60 kilometers per hour that were recorded.
“The situation is quite unpredictable due to the wind and the drought and that makes the propagation more violent”, warned the local television Telemundo the deputy director of Firefighters, Richard Barboza.
In total, according to information from the local press, the igneous sources registered since Wednesday in the area burned some 50 hectares.
To which the neighbors collaborate with the authorities by bringing drums with water, the Interbalnearia Route had to be cut off due to the intense smoke registered and detours were enabled that, according to a recent report by the Ministry of the Interior, were already raised when a circulation path was enabled.
“We request extreme care when driving through the area due to the presence of people and troops working on the fire. We recommend avoiding the area”, indicated the portfolio through the social network Twitter.
This fire is added to the one that started at dawn on Wednesday in the department of maldonado (southeast), which affected the town of bull hill by leaving some 200 evacuees and consuming around 40 hectares, as well as another that occurred on January 19 in the department (province) of Thirty-three (east), which affected between 250 and 300 hectares of fields.
Uruguay is going through a severe drought in the middle of the southern summer season.
In this context, the United States Embassy reported on Tuesday that it will donate to Uruguay “More than a million” of dollars in equipment to reinforce the capacity to fight fires.
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The donation, framed in the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the first defense cooperation agreement between the United States and Uruguay -ratified in 1953-, represents a “important support” for fire fighting.
As reported by the diplomatic headquarters, the United States will donate, through the Humanitarian Assistance Program (HAP, in English) of the Southern Command, around a million dollars in humanitarian and security equipment.
The equipment will include 120 fire protection suits and 40 self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters, as well as four state-of-the-art oxygen generators for local hospitals.
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