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As of October 2020, severe seasonal wildfires had spread across eastern Bolivia due to drought and high temperatures. The fires had affected Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, and Tarija departments and burned more than 3.2 million acres of land by October 6, according to the Government of Bolivia (GoB). The fires adversely affected at least 126,000 people and resulted in five deaths, as well as the loss of livestock and crops, the GoB reports. On September 15, interim President of Bolivia Jeanine Áñez declared a national emergency due to the fires, and Santa Cruz subsequently declared a departmental disaster on October 2.

On October 7, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Charisse Phillips declared a disaster due to the effects of the wildfires in Bolivia. In response, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA) provided $100,000 for emergency response activities in the affected areas.


Bolivia is prone to natural disasters, such as wildfires, that can endanger lives, result in damage to housing and infrastructure, and increase humanitarian needs.

Last updated: October 14, 2020

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