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Torres del Paine National Park closed

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Dec 30th, 2011, 04:57 AM
  #1
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Torres del Paine National Park closed

A fire, started in the Rio Olguin area of the park, has been burning for a couple of days. Some refugios were closed and trekkers staying there were evacuated. There has been a voluntary evacuation in place for any wishing to leave the park but, so far, a mandatory evacuation has not been implemented as most of the park is not affected. However, the park has been closed to new entries in order to be able to deal with those already in the park should evacuation be necessary.

If you had a tour booked for the park, contact your tourist agency. If you are an independent traveler, make other plans for at least the next week. You can cross into Argentina and visit El Calafate and El Chalten or beyond, or visit other areas of Chilean Patagonia. Do try to book ahead for lodging as there will be lots of tourists trying to do the same and lodging is often booked up anyway at this time of year.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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thanks for the heads up.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 02:28 PM
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The park will remain closed in January, according to authorities.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Updates online in Spanish. Sounds like it may rain and the winds may lessen next week.

You would think backpackers would be more careful after the disaster with the Czech one in 2005.

http://www.emol.com/
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Dec 30th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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It is only very weak rain expected. They need a few days of downpour.

You have only to read forums where travelers ask about getting around the rules to see that it is all too common. Sometimes to avoid the cost of a camping spot in an authorised area, people will set up camp anywhere. The Czech tourist was a fairly experienced hiker. He just thought the rules didn't apply to him and underestimated the winds in Patagonia. To be fair, we don't know that it was set off by a hiker, but it seems likely as it started near a trail.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 04:27 PM
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I know what you mean. Do they even allow open fires this time of year? I remember those incredibly fierce winds, there really isn't much the firefighters can do until conditions change. Just protect Explora I guess.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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No they have protected shelters at most of the campsites where you can use a camp stove but you cannot build an open fire. The Czech set off the fire when he (or perhaps the wind) knocked over his camp stove.
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Jan 1st, 2012, 03:29 PM
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Now www.allchile.net is covering the situation. Allegations that some fool was burning a roll of toilet paper.


http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topic7279-36.html
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Jan 5th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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CONAF has posted a report (in Spanish) of the current situation, go to the last page to see a map of burned areas.

At the moment only the north side of the park is open (the area serviced by Fantastico Sur) and a guide is required.

http://www.conaf.cl/cms/editorweb/in...05ene-0900.pdf
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Jan 8th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Hotel Las Torres has posted a map of the open and closed areas, as well as FAQs.

http://www.lastorres.com/the-nationa...-for-tourists/
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