On Wednesday, President Alberto Fernandez decreed a one-year “Fire Emergency” throughout the national territory. During this period, his administration will coordinate actions with subnational authorities to combat forest, rural, or grassland fires, restore affected areas, and prevent new outbreaks.
The presidential decree establishes the “Igneous Emergency” as a measure to encourage consistent, effective and timely institutional responses in the fight against fire in the face of the imminent danger of an environmental catastrophe.
The Fernandez administration will hold meetings with subnational authorities to stop the advance of the fires and begin a plan to restore the affected areas. The Environment Ministry will convene a working group with all the stakeholders to coordinate the adoption of measures and actions to deal with the emergency.
The decree also establishes that the Cabinet of Ministers must restructure, modify or reallocate budget items to immediately strengthen the institutional responses.
In recent months, massive fires have created serious threats to the environment, heritage, health, and people in several areas of the country. In this regard, the presidential decree recalls that this ongoing situation is mainly related to “anthropic activities whose consequences are aggravated by global climate change.”
According to the latest report from the Environmental Ministry, Argentina has active fires in the provinces of San Luis, Buenos Aires, and Rio Negro. The authorities, however, have managed to contain wildfires in the provinces of Catamarca, Santa Fe, Tierra del Fuego, Neuquen, and Salta.
The National Meteorological Service alerted the Argentines about a heat wave that affects Catamarca, La Rioja, San Juan, Mendoza, and La Pampa, where temperatures of 109.4°F were registered on Wednesday.