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Deadly Blaze: Over 112 Lives Lost in Chile’s Raging Forest Fires

Chile Forest Fires Over 112 Lives Lost

Tragically, the death toll from the devastating forest fires in Chile has reached 112, according to officials. President Gabriel Boric announced on Sunday afternoon that the death toll had risen to 64 and was expected to increase further. According to the medical examiner in Chile, a total of 112 individuals were transported to the Valparaíso forensic unit.

During a news conference on Saturday, Interior Minister Carolina Tohá provided an update on the current situation, stating that there are currently 92 active fires that have had a significant impact, affecting over 43,000 hectares. Tohá mentioned on Sunday that over 1,350 homes have already been impacted.

Boric has declared a period of two days for the entire nation to mourn the victims of the devastating forest fires. This includes those who have tragically lost their loved ones as well as those who have suffered the loss of their property.

Addressing the nation, Boric expressed his condolences for the tragic loss of life and destruction of homes, assuring the people of Chile that the government is fully committed to taking immediate action and providing the necessary resources.

“I understand that losing a home that was built through years of sacrifice is an incredibly challenging experience,” said the president. “Losing a family member, a loved one, is an incredibly painful experience. Please know that our government is fully committed to providing the necessary support and resources, both in terms of personnel, technology, and funding.”

Evacuations were necessary in various regions of central Chile due to the fires.

Chile Forest Fires Over 112 Lives Lost

In February 2023, devastating fires ravaged the country, engulfing over 400,000 hectares of land and tragically claiming the lives of more than 22 individuals.

According to Tohá, this year’s fires are rapidly multiplying and moving closer to urban areas, which greatly increases the potential impact on people and structures.

There have been reports of fires in Chile, coinciding with a heat wave that has also impacted other countries in Latin America.

Boric has declared a state of emergency, with red alerts being issued for areas at risk. The Education Ministry has set up 20 shelters in the regions of Valparaíso, O’Higgins, and Los Lagos.

Boric also conducted an aerial assessment of the impacted areas. “We have made significant efforts to acquire the best resources available to us in order to effectively combat the upcoming wildfire season. Our goal is to be prepared from the very beginning to prevent forest fires and provide assistance to those in need,” he stated.

A total of nineteen helicopters and over 450 firefighters have been deployed to the area in order to effectively combat the ongoing blazes. In addition, all mass commercial events in Valparaíso were suspended, including sporting, recreational, and cultural events, to prioritize efforts on the fires.

“Whenever there is a significant event, it leads to an increased need for security teams and authorities who may be diverted from their current focus,” Tohá remarked. That’s why it’s crucial for there to be zero distractions.

Esval, a water utility company based in Chile, is actively working to stabilize service and increase water supply in areas affected by fires. In a news release, Esval regional manager Alejandro Salas also urged customers to consider delaying nonessential tasks like laundry and watering plants.

The curfew in Quilpué, Viña del Mar, Linache, and Villa Alemana has been extended until Sunday. This extension aims to ensure that operational teams can move around more easily and facilitate any necessary evacuations.


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