Forest Fire in Argentina Threatens Chile

         Forest Fire in Argentina Threatens Chile

17 March 2009

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Argentina — A national park in southern Chile has been threatened by an Argentine forest fire that has been burning since Sunday, officials said Monday.

The situation caused the Chilean National Forestall Corporation to declare a maximum alert because the fire has destroyed almost 1,000 hectares of forest and is less than two kilometers far from Chilean territory.

Conaf said that due to the emergency, a border pass near the city of Junin de los Andez was closed and all of its preventive systems were on alert.

“According to the information we have, the fire has a longitude of more than 14km and a width of 4km,” Mario Acuna, Conaf general director in the Araucania region.

“We must work to prevent, to warn, to alert our people, because if the wind’s conditions change we could be affected,” Acuna said.

The wind was moving inside Argentine territory, however, Conaf was monitoring climate conditions in case of an eventual change in the wind’s direction.

Meanwhile, some 200 tourists in Argentina were evacuated from Lanin National Park as a precaution due to the fire that has destroyed 500 hectares of forest.

Strong winds have impeded two planes from the National Plan of Fire Management in their efforts to fight the fire.

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