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At least 23 killed after hundreds of wildfires rage in Chile

As more than 230 wildfires rage across Chile, at least 23 people have been killed.

Nearly 100,000 acres of forest were set alight, with most of the wildfires occurring in the Biobio region and Nuble. These regions have been declared states of emergency.

According to an official briefing, at least 979 people were injured and more than 1,100 have sought refuge in shelters.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that at least 10 people are missing and there is concern the death toll will continue to rise.


According to authorities, 11 people were killed in Santa Juana, Biobio. One of them was a firefighter who was trying to tackle a blaze Friday.

Image Santa Juana resident fights fire in the Biobio area

A rescue helicopter that was dispatched to help the pilot crashed and killed him, a Bolivian national. The mechanic was from Araucania.

Araucania is located just 140 miles from Biobio and is now subject to an emergency order. This was announced by Chile’s interior ministry on Saturday.

Chile: More

Ms Toha stated that four deaths were caused by two different vehicles in Biobio.

Ms. Toha stated that they were burnt in one instance because they were struck by fire.

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She said that the victims in the second case died in a car accident, probably trying to escape from the fire.

The heatwave is currently raging in the country, with temperatures reaching 30C and strong winds intensifying wildfires.

According to Reuters, they have destroyed more than 40,000 hectares – roughly 100,000 acres. This is larger than Philadelphia in the US.

Image: Rosa Munoz, a resident in the Biobio region, lost her home following wildfires that ravaged the city of Tome. Pic: AP
Image: Rose Munoz walks along what remains of her home in Tome. Pic: AP

CONAF, the national forest agency, stated Saturday that 151 wildfires out of total 231 are under control.

Chile’s President Gabriel Boric has delayed his holiday to travel to the affected regions and requested international assistance to help with the firefighting efforts.

He stated that there was “evidence” that wildfires were started by unauthorised burnings.

Image Photo of a helicopter in Santa Juana, in the Biobio area

Boric stated that “the entire force of the state” will be used to first fight the fires and then to assist all victims.

Last summer, firefighters from all over Europe were sent to fight a blaze in France. There were around 360 firemen and 100 vehicles that were sent to the Gironde region.

More than 6,000 people were evacuated elsewhere as the wildfires ravaged California. Thousands of firefighters battled to regain control.


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