الثلاثاء , يونيو 16 2020

Patagonia forest fire chief sacked

Fire in the Andes mountains near Cholila, Argentina (23 February)Fire in the area around Cholila is threatening Los Alerces, some 25km (16 miles) away

The head of Argentina’s national fire control agency has been sacked as a huge forest fire threatens to engulf a renowned national park in Patagonia.

Jorge Barrionuevo was sacked during a visit to the region by the government chief of staff.

The fire is advancing towards Los Alerces National Park, which is home to larch trees dating back more than 1,000 years.

The flames have already destroyed 200sq km (77 sq miles) of forest.

Government chief of staff Anibal Fernandez said Mr Barrionuevo’s work had been “unsatisfactory”.

The fire is believed to have been started by a lightning strike more than a week ago.

Hundreds of rescue workers have since been fighting the flames, but officials now say they hope rain expected on Monday may help control the situation.

Local government officials say it may take hundreds of years for the damaged forests to grow back.

Firefighter in the Andes, 23 February 2015Firefighters have been trying to clear ground to stop the spread of the fire

A fireman works in a mountainous zone affected by fire in the province of Chubut, Argentina, 26 February 2015The government of the province of Chubut declared an environmental emergency because of the fire which has affected 200 sq km of forest.

Flames on the hills around Cholila (23 February)Despite the efforts of firefighters, the flames are still illuminating the night sky

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