24 January 2017
Fire in Chile
|Type of Event:||Forest fire|
|Location of Event:||Chile|
|Date of Charter Activation:||24 January 2017|
|Time of Charter Activation:||08:51:00|
|Time zone of Charter Activation:||UTC-03:00|
|Charter Requestor:||Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior y Seguridad Pública (ONEMI)|
A state of emergency has been declared in south-central Chile due to the worst forest fires that the region has experienced in decades.
The fires began a week ago in the midst of a dry summer with record temperatures reaching 38°C. ONEMI - the Chilean National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry - reports 32 active fires, affecting the O'Higgins, Maule and Biobío regions to the south of Chile's capital, Santiago.
Three firefighters have died while combating the flames, 78 homes have been destroyed and hundreds of people have been evacuated.
Almost four thousand people (among them firefighters, soldiers, emergency personnel and volunteers) have been working to control the fires and while some have been extinguished and 29 are under control, the government has requested international aid to cope with the large scale of the fires.
It is estimated that the fires have destroyed more than 100,000 hectares of forest.
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