Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

Argentina: fire destroys 600 hectares of protected site

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The fire broke out Thursday evening and has already burned more than 577 hectares of forest, extending beyond the perimeter of the park. (File photo)

Agence France-Presse

Argentinian firefighters battle an “out of control” fire in Los Alerces National Park on Saturday, in Patagonia, which has already devastated nearly 600 hectares of this UNESCO world heritage site, reported the official Télam news agency.

In the heart of the southern summer, record temperatures of more than 40°C are hitting Argentine Patagonia, a usually cold and windy desert region in the far south of the country.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Brigadiers and personnel from Chubut province were trying to prevent the flames from reaching the neighboring towns of Esquel and Trevelin, in approximately 2000 km southwest of Buenos Aires.

The fire is out of control, said Mario Cardenas, head of the fire, communications and emergency (ICE) department at the national park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

The fire broke out Thursday evening and has already burned more than 577 hectares of forest, extending beyond the perimeter of the park, according to the same source.

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Los Alerces Park covers 188,379 hectares with a buffer zone of approximately 207,313 hectares. (File photo)

The conditions are unfavorable, as we still have a lot of wind and high temperatures. This makes our job very difficult, Mr. Cardenas said.

The fire is located in the Centinela Creek area, near the bay of Rosales, according to the Télam agency.

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On its Instagram account, Los Alerces National Park indicated that on Friday evening, a drone flew over the area to assess the progress of the fire, and that fire teams from Esquel and Trevelin are present to protect the towns close to the fire.

Record temperatures in Argentine Patagonia have led the provinces of Chubut and Rio Negro to declare a state of emergency due to the risk of disaster ;fires through April.

Los Alerces Park covers 188,379 hectares with a buffer zone of 188,379 hectares. approximately 207,313 hectares. Successive glaciations have shaped the landscape of the region and created a variety of spectacular forms, glacial cirques, strings of ponds, clear-water lakes, hanging valleys, roches montagne and U-shaped valleys.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">It is home to some of the last remaining patches of contiguous Patagonian forest as well as many endemic and threatened species of flora and fauna, including the oldest population of #x27;alerces or Patagonian cypress, a conifer endemic to South America.

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