Chubut issues red alert, Chile to send aid

Chubut issues red alert, Chile to send aid

09 January 2012

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Argentina — Chubut authorities issued a red alert on the fires that affect forest areas and decided to evacuate El Hoyo town, while 40 chilean firefighters were expected to arrive to the mountain region in the Argentine province to help put out the bush fires. Another fire broke out in the Neuquén town of Moquehue.

The fire, which has consumed over 2000 ha, is out of control and began affecting the urban area of El Hoyo town.

A provincial government official requested residents to leave their homes. Two schools were to receive the evacuees.

Meanwhile, another fire broke out in Neuquén, near Moquehue locality. The Nacional Weather Forecast service (SMN) announced that rains were expected during the weekend, which hill make the situation easier.

Over 150 firefighters decked with hydrant fire planes work to put out fires in Chubut that began on Tuesday. Chubut and Chile authorities were evaluating sending some 40 Chilean firefighters to the mountain region within the Argentine province, to help to put out the bush fires that continued to spread close to El Hoyo town, Chubut officials from the National Plan for Fire Management (PNMF) informed.

The Chubut Government informed today through a communiqué that, due to the seriousness of the fires, they requested aid from Chilean firefighters to the Chilean Embassy. In the past four days more than 300 Argentine firemen were trying to combat the fires in Puerto Patriada.

The wildfires began on Tuesday, affecting some 2,000 hectares of forestland,causing 40 evacuations from the local areas, some 12 km from the tourist town of El Hoyo.

Chubut Governor Martín Buzzi, told press reporters that he hoped the arrival of the Chilean firefighters would go through and said, “we are grateful for the help efforts from our neighbouring country, who also have suffered fires in recent days, and that they join forces with our hardworking and courageous firefighters.”

Buzzi remarks were in reference to the 55,000 hectares of forest fires that spread across the Chilean Patagonia causing six deaths. More than 2,000 firemen, tens of planes and emergency teams from Argentina, Australia, Uruguay and the US were working in Chile to combat the fires.

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