Fires and droughts are worrying for the summer

The fire in the swamp deer national park / télam

Last Tuesday, the Berisso Volunteer Firefighters fought three grass fires. Yesterday, two.

Roberto Scafatti, who is a senior firefighter commander, president of the Berisso Volunteer Firefighters Association and director of Civil Defense of that town, says that it is an average of interventions typical of late December or early January and not November. And it recognizes that there is concern about the risk of a higher-than-usual incidence of this type of episodes in the coming summer and that it has already been announced that it will be hotter and drier than normal due to the La Niña phenomenon.

The concern is not just about the fires. The behavior of the rivers is also worrying, at a time when the Paraná registers a historical drought that would deepen in the coming days. And the concern about the provision of water also worries ecologists in the Region who believe that a too dry and hot summer could affect the height of the water tables and cause the shortage of water for risk in the area of ​​fifths.

As is known, the National Weather Forecast announces a season with temperatures above normal and rains below normal for the period up to January. Meanwhile, from the Hydrometeorological Station of the Municipality of La Plata it was announced on Tuesday that the summer in the region will be somewhat warmer and less rainy than normal due to the La Niña phenomenon, while it was alerted by the possibility of heat waves, the risk of field fires and difficulties in the provision of water for agriculture.

The forecasts come in a scenario in which fires and droughts are already worrying throughout the country.

Yesterday the Paraná river was below the metro in the port of the city of Santa Fe and estimates from the National Water Institute (INA) indicate that the downspout will deepen in the next two weeks (see separate)

Meanwhile, in what has to do with the fires, yesterday there were four provinces that had active sources: Buenos Aires, La Rioja, Entre Ríos and Catamarca, according to the National Fire Management Service (SNMF).

One of the outbreaks, registered in the Ciervo de los Pantanos National Park, located in the Buenos Aires province of Campana, was controlled yesterday at noon, as indicated by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of the Nation, while the investigation continues to determine the cause of the start of the fire.

The National Fire Management Service (SNMF) deployed two helicopters and a hydrant plane to fight the fire and “thanks to the tasks carried out by more than 80 people who worked in the area, the fire is under control,” according to a statement. wallet.

The Ciervo de los Pantanos National Park is a protected natural area located in a large part of the lands of the former Otamendi Nature Reserve, in the Campana district, and has an approximate area of ​​5,200 hectares.

Increased risk of fire

According to Roberto Scafatti from Berisso, the possibility that high temperatures and less than normal rainfall increase the risk of grass and sugar cane fires is of particular concern this summer.

“We have prepared ourselves, training personnel in the management of forest fires and incorporating specific equipment to intervene in this type of event, which is usually characterized by demanding many hours of work, a lot of personnel and equipment.”

In this sense, and after highlighting that “most field fires have to do with human action,” he called on the population to become aware that they are going to live a summer with greater risk and asked for their collaboration by avoiding situations that can start fires.

“It must be taken into account that a fire that in normal situations is not serious, in a context of heat and drought can become uncontrollable in a few minutes,” said Scafatti.

In this sense, Horacio de Belaustegui, president of the La Plata Foundation Biosfera, agreed in stating that “most fires are of anthropic origin” and called to avoid risk situations.

At the same time, De Belíritutegui stressed that “in the water part we are seeing the low flow of our rivers throughout the country and we believe that there is a risk for the fruit and vegetable region of La Plata if we have a very hot week or two. In this case, the groundwater tables will become depressed and water may be scarce to draw water to irrigate the plantations. You need to make allowances for the proper amount of water if that happens. And use varieties that are more resistant to dry environments. Another important factor is that horticultural producers use the water they need, without doing it excessively to avoid waste ”.

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