Raging wildfires in Ecuador have burned some 1,500 hectares of land across the country over the past week, the Environment Ministry said on Monday.
The fires mainly affected the provinces of Pichincha, Imbabura, Tungurahua, Chimborazo, Manabi and Santa Elena as low humidity and large areas of trees and bushes fueled the fires in the dry season, the ministry said.
Outside Quito, some 230 hectares of land near the forest have been charred by wildfires, Quito's fire chief Atahualpa Sanchez said.
In some areas, the fires were so close to houses that residents had to put them out with buckets of water.
There have been no reports on the number of victims so far.
Interim Environment Minister Manuel Bravo said the causes of the fires are under investigation.
(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2009)