Local authorities assure that “the conditions are being met for it to be a catastrophic fire.
At least five sources of fire were reactivated in areas of Lago Puelo, on the outskirts of Cholila and in the rural area of El Maitén, near El Bolsón, causing 7 injuries and some 200 evacuees . The fire also affects El Hoyo “it is surrounded by fire,” informed community sources and Civil Protection.
The mayor of Lago Puelo, Augusto Sánchez , said through the social network Facebook that “this is a worse scenario for an interface fire, the conditions are being met for it to be a catastrophic fire.”
“It is a fire that is generated inside the forest and there are extreme conditions for it to expand, we have the capacity of our firefighters exceeded although we hope that it will rain in three or four hours and that will quell the fire,” he said the intendant.
He also indicated that “they are trying to contain the strongest places and trying to protect facilities, the most affected are the areas of El Radar Alto and Alto Golondrina, but the worst scenario is in El Hoyo, which is surrounded by flames.”
“They cannot pass or enter El Hoyo. It is the worst moment of the fire, one of the fronts is advancing rapidly, it is a catastrophic fire, only tomorrow we will have a dimension of what really happened.”
“In El Hoyo the entire community is isolated. It is a heartbreaking moment , “ said Sánchez, adding that “it was due to an oversight or intentionality to ignite the flames.”
About 200 people were evacuated from Lago Puelo while there are seven injured, one seriously admitted to Bariloche.
The Secretariat of Civil Protection of the Nation activated the red alert since ” we have a situation of forest fires in the area of El Maitén, Epuyén and Futaleufu, which is uncontrolled and with an interface danger is exceeding the local firefighters and those of Parks Nationals “, according to the text that Télam agreed to.
The alert sent to the Civil Protection Secretaries of Río Negro, Chubut and Neuquén also highlights that “we have activated the red alert as soon as we have confirmation of the need for the resources that need to be mobilized, we will be officially communicating to them.”
Around 4:00 p.m., an interface fire started in the area known as Las Golondrinas, in Lago Puelo, which got out of control in a short time. The flames destroyed several homes and farms in their wake, local media reported.
Almost at the same time another fire started on the Radal hill that got out of control in minutes due to the action of the wind and high temperatures.
The interface fires that started in Las Golondrinas and Cerro Radal expanded at high speed and advanced towards El Hoyo.
The fire destroyed the houses located in the Catarata Norte and Cerro Currumahuida areas, in the area above the pine forest. But the fire advanced towards the urban area, while the flames were a few meters from houses located on the outskirts of Cholila and El Maitén.
The head of operations of the Provincial Fire Management Service of the province of Chubut, Jorge Bonasea , reported on Radio Nacional El Bolsón that the authorities of the El Hoyo hospital were evaluating evacuating patients due to the smoke.
According to local media, the brigadistas said that there were houses and vehicles burned in La Golondrina, El Radal and El Maitén and estimated that some 150 people self-evacuated and evacuated in El Hoyo.
For his part, the mayor of Lago Puelo, Agustín Sánchez , affirmed that the situation “is catastrophic” and described that the interface fires are uncontrolled with more than 6 houses burned in the Las Golondrinas area.
Sánchez said he has no doubts that the fire originated “due to negligence or intentionality.” And he ruled out that it is due to natural causes while emphasizing that there is no electricity “because the fire destroyed the lines.”
To these interface fires is added the forest fire in the Mallín Cume area that began on Sunday afternoon and destroyed around 2000 hectares
The fire is about 35 kilometers from El Bolsón. Although one of the queues advanced this afternoon driven by the gusts towards the rural area near El Maitén, where it devoured some houses.
Vehicular traffic on National Route 40 has been cut off as of this afternoon and only vehicles of the security forces, volunteer firefighters and brigade members who assist in fighting the advance of the fire are allowed to pass.