Massive Wildfire Burns 30,000 Acres of Chilean Patagonia
Five days after a massive wildfire first began to spread in Chile's Torres del Paine national park, which ultimately consumed 30 thousand acres of pristine Patagonian ecosystem, the nation's president says the blaze is now under control. Authorities say that the devastating fire, which was only contained with the help of some 500 firefighters, was initially ignited by a tourist who simply failed to fully extinguish a toilet-paper roll he was burning.
In the final hours of the weekend, firefighters were able to keep the fire at bay, though the damage to the national park is significant. By late Sunday evening, 30 thousand acres of forest was burned of the Torres del Paine's roughly 600 thousand acres of Patagonia.
"Thanks to the great work of our firemen, and better weather conditions, the Torres del Paine fire is under control," Chile's President Sebastian Pinera said via Twitter.
According to a report from the AFP, authorities say the fire was accidentally when a tourist at nearby camping sight improperly disposed of burning trash. The tourist faces 60 days in jail if convicted, though he has since claimed to be a scapegoat for the incident.