Raging brush fire threatens Olympic mountain bike venue

The Rio Olympics has experienced no shortage of environmental issues since they began, and on Monday, the Olympic mountain biking venue was reportedly in danger as a raging brush fire broke out in the nearby area threatening the course.

According to News.com.au, the fire broke out in the Deodoro area in the western portion of Rio de Janeiro, which houses the mountain bike stadium as well as the canoe slalom course and BMX track.

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Winds topping out at 90 kilometers per hour fanned the brush fire’s flames and caused the blaze to spread quickly.

Officials with cycling’s governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale, acknowledged the fire, stating it was under control. They would not confirm whether or not the Olympic mountain biking venue sustained damage.

“The UCI is aware that there was a fire this afternoon in the vicinity of the Rio 2016 mountain bike course,” the statement read. “It is understood the fire is now under control. Assessment of any potential impact on the mountain bike course will be made tomorrow.”

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Though the UCI has yet to confirm whether there was damage done to the Olympic mountain biking venue, Canadian Cyclist reported that the venue had caught fire during the day. The publication also noted that the fire was caused by a controlled garbage burn that got out of control.

We will have more on this story as it progresses.

Editor’s Note, 8/14/16, 8:30 p.m.: An earlier version of this story stated that Olympic athletes were forced to flee the venue. Later reports suggest that the presence of athletes at the time of the fire has not been confirmed.

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