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Fire Spreads In Ancient Argentinian Forest

SUNDAY, JAN. 14, 1996

A fire that has destroyed 7,000 acres of ancient forests raged through more of southern Argentina on Saturday.

The fire began Tuesday in Nahuel Huapi National Park, 1,100 miles southwest of Buenos Aires, and swept through a 1,000-year-old forest of lenga, a species of sequoia.

Fueled by strong winds and a dry southern hemisphere summer, the fire threatened the Nirihuau Valley, home to the huemul, an endangered species of Patagonian deer.

Some 200 firefighters are battling the blaze but National Parks Administrator Felipe Lariviere said there was little chance they would succeed soon.

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