Evacuation ordered as Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park goes up in flames

December 31, 2011CHILE – The authorities in Chile have closed one of the country’s most popular national parks as a massive forest fire continues to rage through the area. Four hundred tourists were evacuated from Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia on Thursday as firefighters failed to stem the blaze. Officials said more than 85 sq km (21,000 acres) had been destroyed. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said it could take weeks to bring the fire under control. The head of Chile’s national emergency service, Vicente Nunez, said the situation “an extreme scenario, mainly due to topography, strong winds and highly combustible vegetation.” Officials said they suspected “human negligence” triggered the fire. In 2005, a camp fire started by a backpacker destroyed 160 sq kms (40,000 acres) of the nature preserve. President Pinera said the ministers of agriculture and the environment would travel to Patagonia to personally oversee the firefighting efforts. The president also said the number of military personnel deployed to fight the blaze would be raised to 450. Environmental group Ecological Action had earlier criticised the government for what it said was its slow response to the fire. The group’s co-coordinator, Luis Mariano Rendon, said it was a “national shame” that on Thursday only 25 Chilean soldiers were fighting the fires, when neighboring Argentina had sent 23. The fire started on Tuesday and spread quickly, fanned by high winds and fuelled by dry vegetation. –BBC
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, Mass animal deaths, Wildfires. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Evacuation ordered as Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park goes up in flames

  1. Francisco Matamala says:

    This is such a beautiful part of my country, I’m truly saddened. However, forest fires are a natural part of nature, so perhaps some good will come of this. Hopefully they can stop the fires soon. Even though the last couple of years have been hard for my country, earthquakes, tidal waves, and fires, we’ll pull through. I feel like this land has been tested, and our countrymen have been judged and found fit. Strangely enough, there’s peace here, and the world social and political upheavals should pass us by.

    If bad things begin happening around the world (and they will), and some of you feel the need to emigrate to quieter lands, you could do worse than Chile; we will receive you here with open arms. I certainly will.

    Take care, everyone, and God Bless. I wish all of you the very best for next year.


    • Elizabeth says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Francisco! I would love to visit Chile, from what I have seen on the Travel Channel, it is indeed a beautiful and welcoming country.

      You HAVE been tested hard these last few years, and I hope that everyone affected has begun healing. I remember when the miners were trapped, we were all rooting for them, and I watched the live feed of them being pulled out; it was so exciting to see them come out alive! What an ordeal it must have been.

      Good luck to you in the new year, and although I know you have weathered earthquakes, floods, and fires, I hope the social and political trauma continues to stay away (I think your country suffered enough under Pinochet, Chile deserves to be at peace).


    • Irene C says:

      I also thank you Francisco, for your kind words and your invitation. Perhaps I will make Chile one of my travel destinations after I retire. I would love to see your country. Many prayers for you and your countrymen.



  2. Elizabeth says:

    An arrest has been made in connection with this awful fire!



  3. pagan66 says:

    Seeing that photo has chilled my blood. I just came inside from furnace like conditions in my backyard where the thermometer is now reading 55.2c & it’s 4.30pm. This heat is almost unbearable & I am just praying that in these tinder box conditions we don’t get any bushfires here.



  4. This is one more instance of a common connection to the dams of the world. There are a lot of hotspots in India around this longitude band and in Central Africa in the connected longitude band around 17 degrees longitude. And around 107 degrees longitude. People must graduate from Modern Civilization based on narrow speciaalizations to understand the whole picture. We are about to experience either in the Andaman area or Sumatra area or Japan, a major or a great earthquake because of these reasons of cumulative extreme effects of modern civilization. These fires are part of fires caused in mines,buildings, ships, including nuclear reactors. The dynamics behind these phenomena are the dynamics of the interconnections of nature with those of man-made interventions. The sooner we change over to a way of life which designs around our ignorance the sooner we will be coming out of situations like Fukushima.


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