Argentina Thanks Chile for Help in Fighting Fires

By Dialogo
January 10, 2012

The government of the Argentine province of Chubut (in southern Argentina) thanked Chile for their firefighter support in fighting the forest fires that have consumed around 2,000 hectares in that district, Governor Martín Buzzi announced.

“We are grateful for this effort by a brother country that has also suffered a fierce fire in recent days, and that is contributing its people to support our brave and determined firefighters,” the governor of Chubut said.

Around 40 Chilean firefighters will join the 300 Argentine personnel fighting the flames near the city of El Hoyo (1,075 km southwest of Buenos Aires), a tourist destination and the center of the disaster, and in neighboring Puerto Patriada, 12 km south of El Hoyo.

A severe drought and wind action in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer are contributing to the spread of the flames, which are consuming a dense native forest of cypresses and pines.

The governor has said that the fire “was intentionally set” and that it began “after no fewer than 20 previous attempts were extinguished by firefighters.”

According to authorities, the fire has not caused any injuries, but the population living near the forests was urged to leave the area as a precaution.

The small tourist locality of El Hoyo, with 3,500 residents, receives hundreds of visitors every summer and is the most affected by the situation.