The provinces of Chubut and Río Negro have suffered worrying fires in different locations since last Sunday that worsened yesterday afternoon due to strong winds and in the last hours of yesterday, this situation was controlled thanks to the rain. So far the flames have caused injuries and the evacuation of hundreds of residents, many of who have lost their homes, and so far no fatalities have been reported.
The most serious focus
The most active fire is the one that “descended” from the Piltiquitrón Hill, between El Bolsón (Río Negro) and Lago Puelo, producing the evacuation for preventive reasons of more than 70 inhabitants; while another unspecified number of self-evacuees also left their homes and were taken to another town.
In the area, implanted forests were consumed, such as the formation of pines on the farm of the “Compania de Tierras Sud Argentino” of the Benetton Group, in addition to barley plantations. In this regard, the director of the Provincial Fire Management Service, Fernando Epele, acknowledged that “we had a great impact, with four simultaneous fires to which we must add to those that occurred nearby, in the Río Negro area, which also demands the work of brigade members ”.
The National Fire Management Service (SNMF) indicated that 95% of forest fires are caused by human action and pointed out that, among the first causes, is the use of fire for the preparation of grazing areas, the abandonment of lands, campfires and badly extinguished cigarette butts. Between January 1 and February 20, they reached 40,680 hectares affected by fires throughout the country, according to the SNMF. The most affected jurisdictions are Río Negro (12,524 hectares), La Pampa (8,958), Corrientes (6,766), Buenos Aires (3,913), Neuquén (2,535) and Santa Cruz (2,006).
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Photo: Marcelo Martines / La Nación