Fox News Weather Center

Wildfire Threatens Historic Argentina Forest

A wildfire burning for over two weeks in Argentina is threatening historic forests in Los Alerces National Park. The park is located in Chubut Province in the Patagonia region of southern Argentina.

The national park is know for some of the oldest trees in the world, many of which are over 1,000 years old. Some date back over 3,000 years.

According to the BBC News the fire has already burned 200 square kilometers (77 square miles or nearly 50,000 acres).

Global drought data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) shows below-average rainfall in the area of the fire since the beginning of the year. San Carlos de Bariloche, located about 200 kilometers (130 miles) north of the park, only received 34 percent of their normal rainfall since the beginning of the year.

While conditions have been dry so far this year, a cold front will bring some relief on Monday. Meteorologist Rob Richards states that, "A cold front will cause a few showers on Monday, which can help in the fire fighting effort across this part of Argentina." While showers will help to slow the progress of the fire, rainfall is not expected to be enough to extinguish the blaze.

While this fire threatens a historic national park, the head of Argentina's National Fire Management System has been fired. BBC News reports that the dismissal is because of "unsatisfactory" work. The reports goes on to say that hundreds of workers have since been battling the fire.

After the showers expected on Monday exit the region, the next chance for rain will not come until Thursday when another cold front approaches. However, like the first front, this second one will only bring limited rainfall.