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Argentina wildfire threatens city of Villa Carlos Paz

Silhouette of lone fireman standing in front of a bank of huge, leaping flames.
A firefighter is silhouetted by the flames of a forest fire on the outskirts of Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina, Tuesday, October 10, 2023. The Argentina wildfire threatens the city. AP Photo/ Nicolas Aguilera.

Argentina wildfire encroaches on city

Villa Carlos Paz is a resort city of 56,000 people west of Córdoba in central Argentina. As of this morning (October 11, 2023), a wildfire is encroaching on the city. The Independent said an hour ago that the number of evacuees included “hundreds of families.” The Daily Mail was reporting a “wall of fire” and “residents besieged by acrid smog” in Villa Carlos Paz. AP reported earlier today:

Images and video from the area showed massive flames in hills surrounding populated areas as firefighters worked to combat the flames that had reached some homes in the region. It was not immediately clear how many homes had been affected by the flames.

A total of 960 firefighters were working to combat the wildfires with eight firefighting planes and two helicopters, the provincial government said Tuesday evening.

Wildfires are not uncommon in Argentina, which is in the southern half of South America, where it’s now spring. An intense heat wave had hit prior to today (the forecast for today is for cooler weather, however). A drought is ongoing in the area.

Started by a camper making coffee

Ulises Xarate, 27, is reportedly in custody of authorities in Villa Carlos Paz. He is accused of starting a fire on Monday afternoon in an area close to the city, which is in the province’s Punilla region.

He reportedly told police he wanted to start a campfire to make coffee but lost control of the flames due to the strong winds in the area.

Temperatures dropping in Villa Carlos Paz

On Tuesday, the temperature in Villa Carlos Paz hit 91 F (32 C). A day earlier, temperatures had been 99 F (37 C), with winds up to 22 miles per hour (35 kph). Now temperatures have dropped in the area. On October 11, is forecasting:

Cloudy skies this morning will become partly cloudy this afternoon. High 63F. Winds SSE at 15 to 25 mph.

Drought is ongoing in the region. NOAA’s Global Drought Monitor shows the areas of drought around Cordoba.

Scenes from around the internet

Fede Krypner shared scenes from a drone on his Instagram account @fedekrypner on Monday night and again on Tuesday. The scene from Tuesday showed flames with towering black smoke creating a wall at one end of town.

Some residents have evacuated, and the fire was headed toward a neighborhood called 400 Homes. Locals were trying to moisten the landscape with water from swimming pools. (Read more tips to protect yourself from wildfire.)

But there are other wildfires burning in the province of Córdoba. Satellite images show numerous hotspots and smoke from October 9 and 10.

More about the fires on social media

Post by @diariosomosjujuy
View on Threads

Bottom line: An Argentina wildfire was encroaching on the city of Villa Carlos Paz on October 10, 2023. Drone footage showed flames and a towering wall of smoke near the city.

Read more: This Is Wildfire: Tips on preparing yourself and your home

October 11, 2023

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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