Dozens of people have been evacuated from their homes in Argentina’s central Cordoba province as wildfires raged amid an intense heatwave.
Images and video from the area on Tuesday showed massive flames in hills surrounding populated areas as firefighters worked to combat the flames that had reached some homes in the region. It was not immediately clear how many homes had been affected.
A total of 960 firefighters were working to combat the wildfires with eight firefighting planes and two helicopters, the provincial government said in the evening. Local media reported that dozens of people had been evacuated.
“I call on the population to respect the indications of the firefighters and authorities who are working in the affected areas,” Cordoba Governor Juan Schiaretti wrote on social media. “The most important thing is to save lives, wherever evacuation is necessary, it will be done.”
There were five active wildfires in the region on Tuesday, according to Argentina’s National Fire Management Service.
Authorities detained a 27-year-old for starting a fire Monday afternoon in an area close to the city of Villa Carlos Paz in the province’s Punilla region.
The suspect reportedly told police he started a campfire to make coffee and lost control of the flames due to strong winds.
“We request that prevention measures be taken to the highest degree, as the weather conditions are adverse,” Cordoba’s Government and Security Minister Julian Lopez wrote on social media.