Firefighters of Bolivia’s Army patrolling an area where wildfires have destroyed forest at Rancho Grande village in Robore, Bolivia, last month.

Heavy rains have extinguished wildfires which destroyed more than four million hectares of land in eastern Bolivia in recent months, officials said.

“It has rained all across Chiquitanía and our satellite no longer shows any active forest fires,” a Santa Cruz province official said.

The fires triggered mass protests against the environmental policies of President Evo Morales. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated against the president on Friday.

The environment minister of Santa Cruz province, Cinthia Asín, said that firefighters would continue to monitor the area for another 24 hours to make sure none of the blazes would reignite.

Video published by Bolivian daily La Opinión showed firefighters jumping with joy as the rains first started. It is not yet clear if the fires in other areas of Bolivia have also been put out by the rains.

The fires first started in May and worsened in August with NGO Friends of Nature Foundation (FAN) estimating that more than four million hectares of land have been destroyed across Bolivia.

Nearly 2.9 million hectares of grassland and forest were burned in the Chiquitanía area alone with almost half of that land in protected areas, including in the Otuquis national park, according to Ms Asín.

Santa Cruz is the region hit hardest the fires and its residents have been urging President Morales to declare a national emergency in the hope that more international aid would reach the area. Mr Morales did request international aid but stopped short of declaring a national emergency.

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