The death toll from forest fires in Chile has risen to 13 people.

The death toll from the raging wildfires engulfing central and southern Chile rose to thirteen this Friday after a firefighting helicopter and two of its passengers crashed. The severity of the situation has forced the government to declare a state of disaster in the affected regions, according to the DW website.

“There is a swarm of fires, more than 50 between La Araucania, Biobio and Sible, and smoke screens are very important,” Agriculture Minister Estaban Valenzuela warned.

Regarding the accident, he explained that it took place in the Galvarino commune, in the La Araucania region, 700 km south of the capital, and said that one of the members of the brigade was “a Bolivian expert with years of experience in aeronautics and fire safety” . struggle”.

The fires devastated more than 47,000 hectares, leaving 97 homes completely destroyed and 22 injured, eight of them seriously, according to authorities. Of the 204 active fires, 56 are out of control.

The situation, which is far from being controlled, is reminiscent of the disaster that occurred in the area in early 2017. Then there was a mega forest fire that killed 11 people, left about 6,000 people homeless, destroyed more than 1,500 houses and affected 467,000 hectares.

As in that year, the fires began in agricultural areas and forests and progressed until they threatened and affected settlements.

Even traffic on one of the main highways leading to the city of Concepción (510 km south of Santiago) had to be limited since Thursday due to the proximity of the fire.

President Gabriel Boric decided to cut short his vacation and later arrived in Concepción in the Chublé region.

“We will conduct patrols throughout the area. Now the most important thing is to put out the fires. The state is involved for this,” the ruler said. “We are not going to leave them alone,” was the most repeated phrase of the president.

The declaration of a state of catastrophe, a constitutional state of exception, allows for measures such as providing additional resources to control the emergency and provide assistance to the victims, limiting the use of the military in this emergency.

Fires started in the midst of a heat wave with records above 41ºC and in the midst of a severe and prolonged drought are 99% human-caused.

The prosecutor’s office announced precisely the arrest of two people associated with the occurrence of fires in the regions of Biobio and La Araucania.

75 aircraft and more than 2,300 members of the brigade are working to put out the fire, while Minister Toha has announced the lease of 10 more aircraft and is considering leasing additional aircraft from abroad.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Read More