Three hundred grass fires are burning just outside the city limits of Buenos Aires. Over the past ten days a huge cloud of smoke has hung over the city further polluting the city's already dirty air.
These types of fires, lit to clear fields for grazing, are not unusual this time of year. However, timing and number of fires so close to the city cannot be coincidence. Farmers, who make up some of the richest Argentines, are locked in an ongoing dispute with the government over export tariffs. With the steep rise in commodity prices, the central government has been recently trying to raise revenues by increasing taxes on agricultural exports. The farmers haven't been having any of it and in March and early April, blocked roads and food deliveries to the capital.
The Foreign Correspondent had the luck of breathing fresh Andean air in Peru until last night. Right now, the skies look like a typical LA day, but the smoke is due to return tonight as firefighters continue to battle the blazes.
For some photos of the smoke, check out the "fotogaleria" link below the photo in this article.