Sunday, March 3, 2024

Chile declares state of emergency as forest fires kill at least 46 people

Chile has declared a state of emergency after the South American country grappling with intense forest fires which killed at least 46 people. Chile’s president Gabriel Boric said on Saturday that the death toll is likely to rise.

“All forces are deployed in the fight against the forest fires,” Boric said in a post on X.

Throughout the country, there were 92 active fires, leaving more than 43,000 hectares [106,255 acres] affected by the incident, the Interior Minister said.

In the towns of Estrella and Navidad, southwest of the capital, the fires have burned nearly 30 homes and forced evacuations near the surfing resort of Pichilemu.

About 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) have already been burned in Valparaiso alone, according to CONAF, the Chilean national forest authority, which called the blazes “extreme”.

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