What is the name and location of the wildfires?
Colombia declared a state of emergency for two departments on January 25, 2024 as dozens of wildfires burn across the regions (1)(2)(3). The fires are mostly located in the mountains west of Bogota, Colombia. Wildfires are burning in the departments of Santander and Cundinamarca, with Bogota, the capital, experiencing air quality in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” range Thursday morning. Columns of white smoke were visible in Bogota’s commercial district on Thursday morning.
Which cities or areas are affected by the wildfires?
The wildfires are impacting Bogota, the capital of Colombia, as well as the departments of Santander and Cundinamarca. Additionally, numerous municipalities, particularly those around the capital, are on red alert due to the fire threat.
What is the current containment status of the wildfires?
Wildfires in the mountains west of Bogota are around 70 percent controlled. However, challenges persist, with certain hotspots remaining active, especially during nighttime due to high altitude and winds. Authorities are deploying resources, including the Colombian Army and volunteers, to contain and prevent the spread of the fire.
Are there any evacuation orders or alerts in place?
Authorities have issued red alerts for more than half of the country's municipalities, with specific areas around the capital facing evacuation concerns. Due to the significant deterioration in air quality, evacuation orders may be imminent. Residents are urged to stay informed about emergency alerts and evacuation centers.
How can I protect myself from wildfire smoke?
Always plan ahead to protect yourself from wildfire smoke.
- Get a free air quality app for real-time air quality alerts and forecasts.
- Shut doors and windows and set the HVAC to recirculate mode.
- Run a high-performance air purifier to filter wildfire smoke.
- Contribute to your community’s outdoor air quality data.
- Stay indoors; if you do need to go outdoors, wear a KN95/FFP2 mask.