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Israeli national to pay fine for Chile forest fire
by Staff Writers
Santiago (AFP) Feb 8, 2012

An Israeli citizen accused of negligence which started a massive forest fire in a Chilean national park in Patagonia has reached an agreement in court to pay a $10,000 fine and to perform community service.

The court in Puerto Natales, 3,200 kilometers (2,000 miles) south of Santiago, approved the agreement with Israeli national Rotem Singer, a statement by prosecutors said.

The deal calls for charges to be dropped against Singer, who was suspected of setting toilet paper on fire that led to a fire which destroyed some 14,000 hectares (3,500 acres) in the 230,000 hectare Torres del Paine national park.

Under the agreement, Singer will perform two years of volunteer service for Keren Kayemet LeIsrael, a group specializing in reforestation, and will help raise funds to replant 50,000 trees.

He had been arrested after a series of wildfires in the South American nations, including one killing seven firefighters. Some officials said radical indigenous activists may have set some of the blazes.

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Australia -- land of the koala, kangaroo... and elephant
Paris (AFP) Feb 1, 2012
Elephants and maybe rhinoceroses could be introduced to Australia to chomp on an invasive African grass that also causes wildfires, according to an idea reported in a scientific journal on Wednesday. "A major source of fuel for wildfires in the monsoon tropics is gamba grass, a giant African grass that has invaded north Australia's savannas," said David Bowman, a professor of environmental c ... read more

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