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Forest fire razes over 8,200 hectares of Argentina national park

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Buenos Aires: A fire that has been burning for 20 days at Argentina’s Los Alerces National Park, in the southern province of Chubut, has destroyed around 8,205 hectares of the nature reserve, local authorities said on Tuesday.

“The fire continues to be active, presenting specific areas of greater intensity, both at the head of the fire and on the flanks and back,” according to the park’s Unified Command and the Provincial Fire Management Service of the Chubut Forest Secretariat.

Some 336 firefighters and volunteers are currently working to extinguish the blaze at the park, known for its thousand-year-old larch field, and 52 more are expected to join the firefighting.

The blaze began on Jan. 25 when two fires broke out very close to each other near the Centinela stream.

Judicial authorities have looked into the possibility of arson, according to state news agency Telam.

The park, which borders neighboring Chile, conserves larch forests, including an imposing 60-meter-high specimen called “Grandfather” that is estimated to be about 2,620 years old.

Founded in 1937, the park was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 2017.

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