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Chile blaze burns over 1,200 hectares of forest
Chile blaze burns over 1,200 hectares of forest

Santiago, Feb 5 (TIWN) A fire in southern Chile's Tierra del Fuego province ravaged some 1,235 hectares of forest in the commune of Timaukel, the National Forest Corporation (Conaf) said.

On THursday, Conaf's acting regional director John Revello said the fire started on January 25 on land owned by a forestry company, and 600 hectares were razed as of Monday, reports Xinhua news agency.  The challenging terrain, vegetation, accumulation of fallen trees and timber, and weather conditions have made it difficult to control the fire in the Magallanes region, Revello explained. 

Agriculture Minister Maria Emilia Undurraga told local media the affected area is home to a lenga forest, a type of beech tree endemic to Tierra del Fuego.  "Due to geographical conditions and the forest itself, there are many old dead lenga trees, so it's like having piles of accumulated firewood, which makes it difficult to fight and contain the fire," Undurraga said.  Five aircraft, with a load capacity of 15,000 liters of water, have been fighting the fire since Wednesday, Conaf said.

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