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Wildfires prompt evacuations in Argentina’s Cordoba Province amid heat wave

cordoba province wildfires october 10 2023

Wildfires exacerbated by an intense heat wave led to the evacuation of dozens of residents in Cordoba Province, Argentina, on October 10, 2023. The fires neared the resort city of Villa Carlos Paz and involved the deployment of 960 firefighters.

On Tuesday, October 10, 2023, fires ravaged through hills in Cordoba Province, fueled by temperatures that soared to 32 °C (91 °F). The fires closed in on Villa Carlos Paz, a resort city of 56 000 inhabitants west of Córdoba. Just a day earlier, the mercury had climbed to an even more alarming 37 °C (99 °F), with winds gusting up to 35 km/h (22 mph).

A sizable force of 960 firefighters, aided by eight firefighting planes and two helicopters, was mobilized to contain the spreading flames.

In response to the escalating situation, dozens of residents were evacuated from vulnerable areas. Cordoba Governor Juan Schiaretti urged citizens via social media to heed the directions of firefighters and other authorities, emphasizing that the prime objective was to save lives.

Local media outlets reported that Ulises Xarate, a 27-year-old man, was detained on suspicion of starting one of the fires near Villa Carlos Paz. Xarate allegedly told police that a campfire he started to make coffee got out of control due to the strong winds. Prosecutor Jorgelina Gómez is overseeing the case.

The provincial government dispatched trucks carrying potable water, food, mattresses, and blankets to affected areas. The Government and Security Minister of Cordoba, Julián López, took to social media to ask residents to take maximum prevention measures given the unfavorable weather conditions. Some respite may come from rains expected on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning, which could help to control the fires.

According to Argentina’s National Fire Management Service, five wildfires were active in the region as of Tuesday. With the persistence of adverse weather conditions and strong winds, the situation remains dangerous.

cordoba province wildfires october 10 2023 noaa-20
Image credit: NOAA-20/VIIRS, The Watchers. Acquired on October 10, 2023

References:

1 Evacuations are underway in Argentina’s Cordoba province as wildfires grow amid heat wave – AP – October 11, 2023

Featured image credit: Fede Krypner via @WXNB on X (stillshot)

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