Chile wildfires destroys entire villages

2017-01-26 21:18
Flames in the forest in Pumanque, Chile. (Esteban Felix, AP)

Flames in the forest in Pumanque, Chile. (Esteban Felix, AP)

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

Santiago - Forest fires in central Chile have killed seven people, displaced thousands and destroyed entire villages, the government said Thursday.

President Michelle Bachelet raised the death toll in a press conference on Thursday after a farmer died.

Four firefighters and two policemen were earlier reported to have been killed while battling the blaze over the past week.

Multiple blazes have ravaged 240 000ha and are growing, she said.

Frantic locals have been joining in efforts to tackle the blaze to save their homes, animals and farmland.

Bachelet Tuesday ordered extra funds to fight what she called the country's worst forest fires ever.

At least 4 000 people were evacuated earlier this week, the National Emergency Office said.

More than 4 000 emergency workers are battling the blaze, with the help of water-dumping aircraft.

Climate change

More hot and windy weather was forecast for Thursday, raising fears the fires will continue to spread.

The fires have struck mainly in sparsely populated rural areas in the central regions of O'Higgins and El Maule.

Bachelet said the flames were now advancing towards the state of Biobio, further south.

Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said the United States, Canada and various other countries have offered help.

Fires are common in Chile's parched woods during the Southern Hemisphere's summer. Most are caused by human activity.

But this year was considered worse because of a drought attributed by environmentalists to climate change.

Read more on:    chile  |  fires

Join the conversation! 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.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.