While wildfires in Argentina's Los Alerces National Park in the province of Chubut are far from being under control and the situation in Chile keeps getting worse by the hour, a new fire has been reported in the Nahuel Huapi National Park covering the skiing resort of Bariloche with smoke.
The Nahuel Huapi National Park's administration informed this Monday that due to a forest fire affecting the southern area of the reserve, all trails that start or reach Pampa Linda, Bahía López, and Cerrito Llao Llao, and also the access to the Tronador Circuit in the surroundings of Bariloche, Río Negro province, have been closed as a preventive measure.
The fire originated at the mouth of Arroyo Cretón, in an area that can only be accessed from the lake, according to Carlos Madjinca, Secretary of Citizen Protection at San Carlos de Bariloche's City Council. The fire must have started due to an oversight of someone who did not know that he could not make a fire there or did it knowing that in certain areas there is no possibility of making a fire, he was quoted as saying.
People arrive only through a boat or have been walking and during the night they stayed in one place, had a fire, then they could not control it or did not know how to control it and that gives rise to the fire. That is why the prohibition of not making fires in places that are not authorized, here we have a consequence, Madjinca also pointed out.
Meanwhile, the wind made the firefighters' struggle in Los Alerces harder as flames advanced toward the city of Esquel, which has been partially evacuated, Fire, Communications, and Emergency Department (ICE) Spokesman Mario Cárdenas said. Over 1,000 hectares of mostly native species in a mountainous area in the Los Alerces National Park have burned down, it was reported. The total damage at Los Alerces is estimated to have reached some 3,500 hectares.
Yesterday afternoon the fire had another explosion and went to the Esquel side. It did not reach Esquel, it is still far away, but it burned in that direction, so it advanced a lot more again, Mario Cárdenas, head of the Fire Communications and Emergencies Department (ICE) of Los Alerces National Park, told Télam. Yesterday's weather conditions recomplicated us. And there is still wind, so, although it will not be so hot today, we are facing a very adverse panorama, he added.
The fire started on January 25 in Los Alerces National Park and then spread within the provincial jurisdiction.