Thousands flee central Chile forest fire

2017-03-13 17:29
A local stares at houses in flames during a fire in Valparaiso, 110km west of Santiago, Chile. (Felipe Gamboa, AFP)

A local stares at houses in flames during a fire in Valparaiso, 110km west of Santiago, Chile. (Felipe Gamboa, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Santiago - A forest fire swept through central Chile over the weekend, forcing the evacuation of 6 000 people and destroying more than a dozen dwellings, emergency officials said on Monday.

The blaze began in forested areas of Vina del Mar, a popular resort area in the Valparaiso region, about 120km west of Santiago, where hundreds of poor families live in illegally-built houses of wood and tin.

According to Ricardo Toro, the director of ONEMI, no one was killed or injured in the blaze.

The cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar were put on alert as the fire tore through 230ha in just a few hours, amid strong winds and soaring temperatures.

Police and army personnel helped people carry their personal belongings in vehicles, while firefighters and forest brigades fought the flames to keep them from reaching camps.

Authorities said additional brigades and helicopters will be sent on Monday to continue fighting the fire.

Regional authorities meanwhile suspended classes in the city of Vina del Mar on Monday, where 10 families who lost their homes were being housed in shelters.

Officials announced an investigation to determine the cause of the blaze.

Earlier this year, forest fires ravaged southern Chile, killing 11 people and destroying large swaths of land.

Fires are common in Chile's parched forests during the southern hemisphere's summer. Most are caused by human activity.

Fire activity this year was worse than usual because of a drought attributed by environmentalists to climate change.

Read more on:    chile  |  fires

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.