Families evacuated as wildfires destroy over a hundred homes in Chile


A wildfire which broke out in the Chilean coastal town of Valparaiso has forced the evacuation 400 people and injured 19. At least 100 homes have been razed in the inferno which started at a fisherman’s club and the Chilean Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy said in televised remarks that a total of 500 homes were at risk.

Power was initially cut to about 47,000 customers in the region, but had been restored to all but 350, he said.

Hundreds of firefighters from 50 fire brigades from Valparaiso and neighboring municipalities were sent out to fight the blaze. Authorities believe gusty winds and high temperatures fanned the fire.

Poor sanitation has also been blamed as rubbish dumped around the environment fed the flames.

Aleuy said:

‘We don’t have any way to prevent people from throwing trash into Valparaiso’s gullies. We insist that it’s not just the civil system that has to do preventative work. People have to do it too.’

In 2014, a significantly larger fire killed 13 people and burned 2,000 homes.

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Louis Ojibe

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