Forest fires in Argentina already affect eleven provinces: Entre Ríos (which also extended its foci to the Santa Fe city of Rosario), Corrientes, Buenos Aires, La Pampa, San Luis, Córdoba, Santiago del Estero, Misiones, Catamarca and La Rioja.
In total, more than 120,000 hectares have been razed so far.
According to the government, most of these fires are intentional.
Agricultural producers set fire to their fields in order to revoke the pasture for raising animals, and it is a clearing methodology for producers who advance over protected areas for the cultivation of transgenic soybeans or cattle grazing.
Brigadiers from the National Fire Management Service, provincial firefighters, and the Argentine Federal Police, regional police, members of the Armed Forces and the Argentine Naval Prefecture, provide support with human and logistical resources to the institutions of those regions that do not provide enough for stop the advance of the flames.
The droughts in the main producing regions of the country and the devastating action of the fire will leave losses in millions of dollars that have not yet been calculated by the national and provincial authorities.
So far in Córdoba and Buenos Aires, 10 people have been arrested for causing one of those outbreaks.
The Paraná Delta and Córdoba are the most affected areas. In the latter province, an emergency was declared due to an agricultural disaster. It happens that the fire has already affected 40,000 hectares. 90% of those affected are small producers with less than 100 animals.
In Entre Ríos the fires affect the cities of Victoria, Diamante, and Concepción del Uruguay (in these last two places the situation is “under control”). In the north of Córdoba, the fire is “uncontrollable” and continues towards the areas of Capilla del Monte and Cruz del Eje.
A large part of the fields in the town of Ischilín have already been razed and only there affected more than 25,000 hectares. There are also fires in the Punilla and Cosquín Valley.
The fires in those towns have not yet been controlled, as they did in the place called Todos Los Santos and in the town of Manfredi.
Five airplanes, four of them fire hydrants and an observer, were transferred to that province from the National Fire Management Service.
Due to the forest fires in the mountains of the Punilla Valley, four people accused of generating the outbreaks have already been arrested.
Two of them are minors, 15 and 17 years old.
They were arrested after starting a fire in a field in the Cosquín area.
In addition, a woman of about 59 years was arrested after doing the same in the back of her field in that same area.
In Corrientes capital there are two very important sources, one contained and the other active, «in a context of extreme drought» due to the igneous sources, official sources indicated.
In Buenos Aires, the uncontrollable fires still continue in the Paraná Delta.
There, the amount of committed personnel of the National Parks Administration reaches 40 agents who are in charge of monitoring, preventing, and collaborating in fire management tasks.
For its part, Prefectura Naval Argentina, a federal force that depends on the Ministry of National Security, also continues to collaborate to combat the burning of grasslands in the Paraná River Islands. It does so with the Coast Guard, jet skis, patrols, and personnel from the Albatross Group, an elite group of the Force.
Judicial investigations carried out in the area, and in which members of that force also participated, so far detained five people for causing several fires.
For his part, Juan Cabandié, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development traveled to Córdoba to fly over the areas most affected by the fires and visit the operations center located in the tourist town of Cosquín. “The national state is presently putting out the fire.
But that is not the definitive solution. We have to demand that the Justice apprehend each person responsibly and rethink our production methods as a society. There is no plan B.
The solution has to be sustainable ”, declared the official when he arrived in the province.