500 People Evacuated and 50 , 000 Acres Burned in Argentina Forest Fire

CÓRDOBA, ARGENTINA – Thousands of
hectares of forest and pasture have
burned and nearly 500 persons have been
evacuated as a result of forest fires, fed
by high winds and hot temperatures, that
threaten several states in Central
Argentina .
The government of President Cristina
Fernández announced on Tuesday that it
was sending planes , helicopters and
specialists to help provincial
governments in the threatened areas .
Sergio Berni , Argentina ’s Secretary of
National Security , announced that , given
the gravity of the situation , he would not
discard the option of “contracting Chilean
fire -fighting tanker planes and
helicopters for the fight against this fire
if necessary .”
The fire, which began Saturday , affects
the mountains of the central province of
Córdoba and forested areas of
neighboring San Luis, Tucumán and Santa
Fe and has now burned more than 20,000
hectares ( 50,000 acres) , according to
official sources , who have not yet
estimated damage statistics.
Despite efforts to control the blaze, more
than 100 hot spots continue to burn in
the mountains of Córdoba .
The government of Córdoba said in a
communique that at the moment it has
two tanker planes to combat the fire , but
clarified that the forces deployed to the
area at this moment are sufficient.
“ We are not short of volunteers , the
firefighters are well -equipped, they are
doing good work and in the evacuation
centers everything is going according to
plan . It is important that people follow
directions of the police and firefighters,”
stated Daniel Passerini, Cordobá ’s
Minister of Social Development.
The high temperatures and wind gusts
that have besieged Argentina and the
drought that has lingered in the area for
months have contributed to the spread of
the fires that , according to local
authorities , could have been intentionally
set.
Passerini admitted this Tuesday that the
forecast “ is not encouraging, given that
it predicts temperatures of more than
41C ( 105 F) with strong winds .