Argentina: continuous forest fires in nine provinces in the south of the country, one of which has lasted for a month

For the time being, neither injured nor evacuation have been reported in this rugged area with a very low population density.

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Temperatures are around 40 degrees. This weekend, firefighters were mobilized on forest fires in nine of the 23 provinces of Argentina. Among these fires, one has been active for more than a month and has destroyed nearly 6,000 hectares of vegetation, with no injuries or evacuations to date. “It is one of the most serious fires that we have had in the region”, Lorena Ojeda, director of operations of the SNMF, told AFP on Friday January 14 at the scene of this fire that has been going on since December 6.

Nearly a hundred firefighters and support personnel, supported by five planes and four helicopters, fought the most tenacious of these fires near Lake San Martin, in the Nahuel Huapi National Park, not far from the tourist town of Bariloche (1 500 km southwest of Buenos Aires), according to the National Fire Management Service (SNMF). Wind and high temperatures, 35 to 40 degrees with peaks above, “contribute to the continued spread of the fire”, with weather forecasts “of precipitation which may not be enough”, underlined Lorena Ojeda.

In total, approximately 5,900 hectares of “indigenous Andean forest”, with a mixture of cypress, bamboo, ñire (Austral beech), mayten (tree of the spindle family), notro (shrub of the proteaceae) have been affected. by the flames. But neither injured, nor evacuation were deplored in this rugged area with very low population density. “The fire is 50 km from Bariloche, but there is no risk of evacuation at the moment”, the firefighters told AFP.

Fires in the forest areas of southern and central Argentina, a country with an area more than five times larger than France, are an endemic occurrence of southern summers. But usually less in coastal areas, where many are reported this summer.

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