At least 23 dead as dozens of wildfires torch forests in Chile

By Fabian Cambero and Natalia Ramos Miranda
February 5, 2023
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

SANTIAGO – Dozens of wildfires blazing through Chile caused the government to extend an emergency order to another region on Saturday, as a scorching summer heat wave complicates efforts to control fires that have claimed at least 23 lives so far. More than 1,100 people have sought refuge in shelters while at least 979 people have been reported injured by the raging fires, according to an official briefing later on Saturday. The latest emergency order covers the southern region of Araucania, next to the previously declared Biobio and Nuble regions, located near the middle of the South American country’s long Pacific coastline. “Weather conditions have made it very difficult to put out (the fires) that are spreading and the emergency is getting worse,” Interior Minister Carolina Toha told reporters at a news conference in the capital Santiago. …Another 16 fires sparked on Saturday, as local temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere summer exceeded 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius).

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