The Minister of Production and Environment of Tierra del Fuego, Sonia Castiglione, said today that the forest fire in the center of the province has already affected about “nine thousand hectares”, which is equivalent to four times the surface of the city of Ushuaia, and warned that the Court of Expanded Jurisdiction of the municipality of Tolhuin initiated the investigation to determine the origin of the fire in the natural reserve “Corazon de la Isla”. Castiglione confirmed, in dialogue with National Radio, that the Court of Extended Jurisdiction of the municipality of Tolhuin, in charge of Judge Silvio Pellegrino, initiated an ex officio investigation to determine the causes of the start of the fire in the nature reserve “Heart of the Island”, and affirmed that in that framework they would have already “found that the fire began in a grill, by a poorly extinguished stove, although that is a matter for judicial analysis.” The judge stated that FM radio of the People of Rio Grande That “the place where the fire would have started is already individualized, but the experts still have to act. We were able to gather testimonies and we are investigating.” The minister also said that the place of origin of the flames is the Rio Claro, located a few kilometers from a tourist refuge, in an area where fishermen usually go, although it is forbidden to enter the reserve through that sector. The fire started on Wednesday, November 30 and from there we had seven days of constant and intense wind, from 60 to 65 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 100 kilometers, which did not allow the direct attack of the fire and limited the containment tasks, because for example the aerial means could not fly, The lives of the brigade members were prioritized first of all,” said the official. Castiglione said that the area includes a virgin forest “very old” with trees “40 meters high” and “a lot of combustible material on the ground”, in a place of “complex topography, few accesses” and “in the middle of a situation of extreme drought due to the low rainfall recorded during the winter”. Anyway, he said that a “climatic window” of four days allowed in the last hours “to make firewalls” and enter “heavy machinery”. The fire in the reserve “Heart of the Island” began in the vicinity of the Rio Claro and the so-called Refugio Fueguino (a tourist inn located in the former Estancia Carmen) and was warned by members of the Lago Escondido detachment of the Secretariat of Civil Protection, who spotted a “column of smoke” coming from the place. The fire dissipated in several foci that are still active and that extend along the slopes of the hills and the coasts of the water mirrors of the area. Fifty-two brigade members of the National Fire Management Service (SNMF) arrived last night in the area of the fire and joined thirty other combatants arrived in previous days, a hydrant plane and two helicopters also affected by the tasks of containment of the fire, official sources of the Fuegian government reported today. Minister Castiglione said that the staff “comes to reinforce the team that has already been working for days” and thanked “the individual value of each of them.” “The two helicopters and the hydrant plane are already working. We are also waiting for the arrival of two more planes hired by the provincial government, and that come to reinforce the means we have, “said Castiglione.