Firefighters in Argentina battled an "out of control" fire in Patagonia's Los Alerces National Park, which has so far destroyed about 600 hectares of the UNESCO World Heritage site.
In the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere, temperatures are reaching record levels of more than 40 degrees Celsius these days in Argentine Patagonia, a usually cold and windy desert region in the far south of the country.
Firefighters in Chubut province are trying to prevent the fire from spreading to the neighboring cities of Esquel and Trevlin, about 2,000 kilometers southwest of the capital, Buenos Aires.
"The fire got out of control," said Mario Cardenas, head of the fire, communications and emergency department in the national park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.
The fire broke out last Thursday evening, destroying more than 577 hectares of forest extending outside the perimeter of the park.
Cardenas explained that conditions are unfavorable due to strong winds and high temperatures, and this makes our work very difficult.
Record temperatures in Argentine Patagonia prompted the provinces of Chubut and Rio Negro to declare a state of emergency due to the danger of fires until April.
Los Alerces Park covers 188,379 hectares with a buffer zone of approximately 207,313 hectares.