Photo: Chile Fires Continue to Rage
Two dozen forest fires continue to burn in different parts of Chile, while another 18 have been contained and 16 have been extinguished, authorities reported Tuesday.
According to the most recent report by the National Emergency Office, of Onemi, of the fires burning across the country on Tuesday morning, the most serious one has destroyed 19,000 hectares (47,500 acres) of forest and cropland in the southern region of Bio Bio.
In that region, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) south of Santiago, the government declared an emergency in the municipalities of Florida, Quillon, Ranquil and San Rosendo, after the flames on Monday killed one person and destroyed about 100 homes and several businesses.
Chile’s deputy agriculture secretary, Alvaro Cruzat, told reporters that in those communities there are 213 small farmers who have been affected, most of them the producers of fruits and wheat.
In Bio Bio, where three fires broke out on Monday, the blazes have consumed 21,300 hectares (53,250 acres), according to the Onemi report.
In the remote southern region of Magallanes, the fire that has been affecting the Torres del Paine National Park since last week has destroyed more than 13,300 hectares (33,250 acres) and is being fought by roughly 1,000 people, including Chilean troops and forest service personnel and firefighters from Argentina and Uruguay.
In the region of Maule, 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Santiago, five fires were burning on Tuesday morning and have already destroyed 2,820 hectares (7,050 acres), according to Onemi director Vicente Nuñez.