January 24, 2022 12:55 pm

Panorama. The rules of fire

At the end of the year, while glasses clinked in each house in Argentina, five sources of fire brought hell to five different provinces: Río Negro, Santa Cruz, Chubut, Neuquén and Formosa.

In the middle of this week, while a fire in Aluminé was being contained, the situation of an igneous source in Salta was worrying, the hope of circumscribing the fire that devastated Puerto Madryn appeared, and the climatic conditions in Bariloche were carefully observed, where the Fire affected the surroundings of Lakes Martin and Steffen. This image was taken there: in the vicinity of Route 40, about 3 kilometers from the Río Villegas area. The charm of the Rio Negro landscape is still present, but displaced by another type of beauty, terrifying and hypnotic in its own way.

A forest fire is an unstable combination of random elements: lightning that falls in the wrong place, rains that linger, winds that define the future of the fire.

There are other elements, already on the human scale: precautionary measures, action protocols when the disaster gets out of hand, resources, evacuations, rescue tasks.

In the photo, the unmanageable and the possible seem to be staring at each other. On the left, the fury of a fire that has already devoured 3,000 hectares of native forest. On the right, the firefighters, each with his team, each with his anxiety and his fears. Forced to wait.

Because in this test the rules come from outside: they are set by the wind, the accidents of the territory, the previous dryness of the undergrowth, the flames themselves. The firemen wait as does the chess player who, before moving his piece, must observe the movement of the opponent. And it’s strange, because in that stillness an entire epic is condensed.

They are the anonymous heroes, who in silence, without fanfare and when it touches, will put their lives at risk to save the lives of others.


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