Argentine Wildfires Devastate Pampas

Argentine wildfires devastate pampas

BUENOS AIRES, Jan 5 (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 05th Jan, 2017 ) : Firefighters in Argentina are struggling to control a series of wildfires that have devastated nearly one million hectares (2.5 million acres) of the country's famous pampas, or plains, officials said Thursday.

Fueled by strong winds, high summer temperatures and a drought, the fires have sent huge swathes of farm and pasture land up in smoke in the central provinces of La Pampa and Buenos Aires, two of agricultural powerhouse Argentina's most productive regions.

The wind grew even stronger Thursday, leaving firefighters powerless to extinguish the fires and battling to stop them from spreading to populated areas, La Pampa civil security official Damian Bollack told AFP.

"We are facing major difficulties to fight the fires. There are three large focal points with winds of 40 to 50 kilometers (25 to 30 miles) per hour," said the provincial fire management coordinator, Marcelo Mosiejchuk.

The fires have killed both wild animals and livestock and cut off several roads. The biggest fire is about 20 kilometers south of the village of La Adela, population 4,000. It was started by a lightning strike on New Year's weekend and is 10 kilometers across, according to firefighters.