Argentina: 24 February 1999


24 February 1999

Several active fire signals in Argentina are recorded by OSEI with the NOAA GOES Sensor on 23 February 1999.

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Fig.1. NOAA GOES images of the vegetation fires in Argentina 23 February 1999
(Source: NOAA )

The fires burning in Argentina are located in Patagonia in the southern part of the country.

Some of the forest and grazing land fires are started by natural causes. The most important source of forest fires, however, is related to the pastoral land use. Extensive repeated burning in many cases leads to the invasion of prophetic grasses which are not accepted by the cattle. In addition, the impact of the regularly occurring uncontrolled fires enhance the general long-term effect of degradation caused by grazing/browsing and trampling. These fires also can escape in the adjacent forests and become destructive wildfires.

The native forests of Patagonia are located east of the main Andean divide along the Cordillera in a narrow, partly continuous strip which is approximately 30 – 80 km wide and more than 2000 km long. The forests cover an area of approximately two million hectares and are distributed over the five provinces Neuquén, Rio Negro, Chubut, Santa Cruz and Tierra del Fuego. Dominant tree species are Nothofagus spp. and Austrocedrus chilensis.

For additional detailed information on forest fires in Argentina refer to the IFFN Country Notes.

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Fig.2. Fire-damaged stand of Nothofagus pumilio

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Fig.3. Resprouting of Nothofagus antarctica after a fire

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Fig.4. Forest mosaic caused by fire

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