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Pictures | Mon Sep 23, 2019 | 4:17pm EDT

Firefighters battle Bolivia's worst fires in two decades

A man fights wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Bolivian volunteer firefighters, exhausted from battling blazes sweeping rapidly across the country's lowlands, are starting to lose hope and retreat from the front lines of some infernos in the drought-stricken region.

The fires this year are Bolivia's worst in at least two decades, with the size of burned land across the country nearly doubling in under three weeks, destroying swaths of biodiverse forest and ranches and farms that sustain thousands of people. REUTERS/David Mercado

A man fights wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Bolivian volunteer firefighters, exhausted from battling blazes sweeping rapidly across the country's lowlands, are starting to lose hope and retreat from the front...more

A man fights wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Bolivian volunteer firefighters, exhausted from battling blazes sweeping rapidly across the country's lowlands, are starting to lose hope and retreat from the front lines of some infernos in the drought-stricken region. The fires this year are Bolivia's worst in at least two decades, with the size of burned land across the country nearly doubling in under three weeks, destroying swaths of biodiverse forest and ranches and farms that sustain thousands of people. REUTERS/David Mercado
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A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. The province now mostly relies on foreign units from Argentina and France and Bolivian soldiers sent to help. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. The province now mostly relies on foreign units from Argentina and France and Bolivian soldiers sent to help....more

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. The province now mostly relies on foreign units from Argentina and France and Bolivian soldiers sent to help. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Carlos Leige, a resident, fights against wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. With no sign of the fires slowing, residents are anxiously waiting for the start of the rainy season, which might not come until October.

Lowland regions have been racked by a drought fueled by an expansion of cattle ranching and soy farming in forested regions, making traditional slash-and-burn practices increasingly risky. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights against wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. With no sign of the fires slowing, residents are anxiously waiting for the start of the rainy season, which might not come...more

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights against wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. With no sign of the fires slowing, residents are anxiously waiting for the start of the rainy season, which might not come until October. Lowland regions have been racked by a drought fueled by an expansion of cattle ranching and soy farming in forested regions, making traditional slash-and-burn practices increasingly risky. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A view shows a burned forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Wildfires in Bolivia this year have spread over 16,000 square miles (4.1 million hectares) through Sept. 15, up from 8,000 square miles (2.1 million hectares) less than three weeks earlier, according to the Bolivian environmental group Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A view shows a burned forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Wildfires in Bolivia this year have spread over 16,000 square miles (4.1 million hectares) through Sept. 15, up from 8,000 square miles (2.1 million...more

A view shows a burned forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. Wildfires in Bolivia this year have spread over 16,000 square miles (4.1 million hectares) through Sept. 15, up from 8,000 square miles (2.1 million hectares) less than three weeks earlier, according to the Bolivian environmental group Fundacion Amigos de la Naturaleza. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A man works to stop wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

A man works to stop wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

A man works to stop wildfires in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado
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A view of the burned forest near the Santa Monica community is seen in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A view of the burned forest near the Santa Monica community is seen in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A view of the burned forest near the Santa Monica community is seen in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A firefighter of Argentina's army fixes a tool as he works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army fixes a tool as he works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army fixes a tool as he works to control the fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A tree trunk burns in a forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019.  REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A tree trunk burns in a forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A tree trunk burns in a forest near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Firefighters of Argentina's army work to control the fire near the Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Firefighters of Argentina's army work to control the fire near the Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Firefighters of Argentina's army work to control the fire near the Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 20, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Carlos Leige, a resident, fights wildfires in Santa Monica community near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A firefighter of Argentina's army drinks water as she works to control the a near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army drinks water as she works to control the a near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army drinks water as she works to control the a near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Volunteers walk at a forest fire gap at the border between Noel Kempff Mercado national park and San Jose de Campamento village, Bolivia, September 22, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Volunteers walk at a forest fire gap at the border between Noel Kempff Mercado national park and San Jose de Campamento village, Bolivia, September 22, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Volunteers walk at a forest fire gap at the border between Noel Kempff Mercado national park and San Jose de Campamento village, Bolivia, September 22, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado
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Wildfires are seen in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Wildfires are seen in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Wildfires are seen in Santa Monica near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado
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A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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Jose Pesoa is pictured after fighting wildfires in Santisima Trinidad, near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Jose Pesoa is pictured after fighting wildfires in Santisima Trinidad, near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado

Jose Pesoa is pictured after fighting wildfires in Santisima Trinidad, near Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/David Mercado
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A resident carries a plastic backpack with water as he prepares to fight against wildfires in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A resident carries a plastic backpack with water as he prepares to fight against wildfires in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A resident carries a plastic backpack with water as he prepares to fight against wildfires in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

A firefighter of Argentina's army works to control a fire near Santa Monica community in Concepcion, Bolivia, September 21, 2019. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
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