Chile: Impressive Images of the Violent Forest Fires Ravaging Vina del Mar

1 minute, 38 seconds Read

The state of emergency has been declared and at least “a dozen deaths” are to be deplored. Fires have shrouded the famous seaside resort of Vina del Mar (center) in a cloud of smoke along the Pacific coast in the Valparaiso region, and threaten hundreds of homes, causing forced evacuations. Firefighters have been tirelessly battling a dozen blazes since Friday in the regions of Valparaíso and O’Higgins in the center, as well as in Maule, Biobío, La Araucanía, and Los Lagos in the south. Chilean President Gabriel Boric declared a state of emergency in order to have “all necessary means” to face the advancement of the fires.

“All forces are deployed in the fight against forest fires,” assured the head of state in a message posted on the social network X. A meeting of rescue services is scheduled for Saturday morning to assess the situation. In the Valparaiso region alone, the fire has consumed more than 7,000 hectares, according to Conaf, the Chilean national forest office, pointing out the “extreme evolution” of the fire. A 63-year-old administrator who abandoned her home in Quilpué, a city located 90 kilometers northeast of Santiago, has been waiting for two hours, “blocked” in her car with her nonagenarian grandmother.

“We received an alert on the phone and a rain of burning ashes began to fall,” she says, while messages from her neighbors warn her that the flames are approaching her house. In the towns of Estrella and Navidad, 200 kilometers southwest of the capital, uncontrolled fires have burned nearly thirty homes, forcing residents to flee in this area near the seaside resort of Pichilemu, renowned for surfing. Authorities had halted traffic on Friday due to “reduced visibility due to the smoke” on Route 68, which connects Santiago to Valparaiso and leads to the wine-growing region of Casablanca and the seaside resort of Vina del Mar. After Chile and Colombia, the heatwave is expected to threaten Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil in the coming days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *