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Climate Adaptation

Argentina Wildfires Spread to Engulf Key Cattle Farming Region

  • Fires in northeast province come as climate change fears mount
  • Damage compounds broader impact of South American drought
Wildfires burn at Paraje Uguay, near the Ibera National Park in Argentina, on Feb. 22, 2022.
Wildfires burn at Paraje Uguay, near the Ibera National Park in Argentina, on Feb. 22, 2022.Photographer: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images
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Blazes are tearing through northeast Argentina, consuming more land than a typical California wildfire season and threatening a key cattle farming region in this major beef exporter.

“I’ve never seen fires like this,” said lifelong rancher Juan Jose Ramirez. Ramirez, 81, lost 1,300 hectares (3,212 acres) after a spark from a passing train ignited fields parched by the worst drought in about 70 years. “We’ve been herding 1,000 cows away from danger as the flame rings advance,” he said in a phone interview.