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Fire destroys forests in Argentina’s Rio Negro province

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Globe Live Media, Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Firefighters on Tuesday were fighting a voracious fire that broke out in a wooded area of ​​the Argentine province of Río Negro, the most intense since the beginning of the year, which has caused at least one injury and several evacuees.

The flames have consumed more than 6,000 hectares of the Cuesta del Ternero area, near the tourist town of El Bolsón, located about 1,700 kilometers south of Buenos Aires, near Patagonia and close to the border with Chile.

The fire broke out on Sunday for unknown reasons and is fought by several dozen brigade members of the Forest Fire Prevention and Fighting Service and volunteer firefighters, Rio Negro authorities said. One of the firefighters suffered minor injuries.

 

“The dryness of the vegetable fuel in the area in recent weeks, added to the strong winds made the situation get out of control like we had never seen before,” the head of the Technical Area of ​​the Fire Prevention and Fighting Service told the press. Foresters, Nicolás De Agostini.

 

The affected area is mountainous and has some valleys, which makes it difficult to extinguish the fire. It is populated by several houses and sheds.

The place is adjacent to a provincial route that connects El Bolsón with the town of El Maitén, in the neighboring province of Chubut.

 

Meanwhile, in the districts of Mendoza, Catamarca, Buenos Aires and La Pampa, there are currently smaller igneous foci.

A score of Argentine provinces suffered fires in 2020, according to the National Fire Management Service. Córdoba, in central Argentina, was the most affected, with some 331,000 hectares burned, while in the entire territory more than one million were destroyed.

 

The National Meteorological Service indicated that the South American country experienced an extensive and prolonged drought last year that affected more than half of the territory. The lack of rain made 2020 the driest year since 1995.

Ben Oakley
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