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ARGENTINA | 06-10-2021 14:51

Forest fires rip through Córdoba Province, leaving scorched land behind

Forest fires continued to rage in the northern part of Córdoba Province on Tuesday, leaving destruction in their wake but thankfully no deaths or injuries.

Forest fires continued to rage in the northern part of Córdoba Province on Tuesday, leaving destruction in their wake but thankfully no deaths or injuries.

The fires started five days ago in four districts. The flames brought under control in Tulumba and Sobremonte, but active outbreaks continued to rage in Caminiaga and San Pedro Norte in the province's north, some 900 kilometres northwest of the capital.

"Córdoba is one of the 10 places in the world most prone to these types of fires," said local civil defence official Diego Concha, as he stood against a stark scene of palm forests and grasslands devoured by flames.

Smoke curtained the sky, with the roar of hydrant planes heard passing overhead in the small town of Caminiaga.

"The palm trees catch fire quickly. The fire encloses us right away. I've seen people die in other years. I'm going to lose almost everything," lamented Eduardo Arregui, a 66-year-old livestock farmer. 

Hundreds of firefighters and Civil Defence firefighting experts are currently deployed in the area.

"The truth is that the weather is not helping. There are very strong winds and high temperatures," said Mauricio Roy, a civil defence official in Córdoba Province.

The advance of the flames forced road closures and the evacuation of homes, but there is still no official figures regarding injuries and fatalities.

"The fire is of great proportions. Palm trees are highly combustible," said one fireman.

The humidity in the region is almost zero and makes it difficult to counteract the fire, which is spreading thanks to the winds.

"This is a danger because the wind is very strong," said Alfredo Banegas, a cattle rider who quickly rode away to continue his task of protecting the ranch.

In the areas where the fire has been brought under control, the scene is desolate. The fields are grey and scorched.

 

– AFP

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