Bolivia struggles to contain fires scorching farms, forests

Bolivian firefighters, members of the military and citizens fighting to protect their homes were battling to contain flames that have ripped through more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) of farmland and forests. There are more than 26 active fires in Bolivia’s agriculture areas of Santa Cruz and Beni, the government said. Recent rains, however, helped quell potential fires to 1,377, down from 3,128.

Fitch Downgrades Bolivia to ‘B’; Outlook Revised to Stable

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Bolivia's Long-Term Foreign Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) to 'B' from 'B+' and revised the Rating Outlook to Stable from Negative. The downgrade of Bolivia's ratings reflects deterioration in the country's growth prospects and public finances amid acute political tensions, which are likely to complicate smooth policy adjustments to contain macroeconomic risks after upcoming elections. The Stable Outlook reflects Fitch's view that continuing economic policy tensions and political/social risks are captured in the lower rating. Moreover, the ratings are supported by favorable government debt profile in terms of debt/GDP below the peer median, low interest/revenues, and low near-term maturities.

Total asks farmers not to clearing land near the Incahuasi plant

Total E&P Bolivie, in its capacity as operator of the Incahuasi Gas Processing Plant, asked the people who live near the gas facilities not to clearing land in those areas to avoid major problems with wildfires. "Total recommends not to clearing land in areas that provoke these situations and carry risk", indicates a communiqué of the private oil company. Last Wednesday, fires were registered near the gas plant that did not cause damages to the facilities, but for prevention purposes, the security systems were activated and the production of the plant was stopped.