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News > Chile

Chile Records 23 Wildfires So Far This Month

  •  Firefighting teams work to combat forest fire

    Firefighting teams work to combat forest fire "La Engorda", Valparaiso, Chile, Jan. 15, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @jmartinezvalpo

Published 18 January 2021

Over 4,000 hectares were ravaged in Valparaiso where an intentionally-provoked wildfire started on January 14.

Chile's National Warning Center (NWC) Sunday informed that 23 wildfires have been recorded nationwide, 12 of which are active and 11 are under control. 


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Valparaiso, Maule, and Ñuble are the regions where the four main wildfires were registered. On Sunday, 4,200 hectares of land were affected in the Quilpue community where the Lago Peñuelas National Reserve became a fire hotspot.

No human losses have been reported in Valparaiso since a forest fire called "La Engorda" sounded the alarm on Jan, 14. Troops from the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), the Interior Ministry (IM), and the Army were mobilized to combat the blazes. 

"Although the fire is not completely controlled, it is a fire that is contained in urban areas. The odds that the fire will come again or affect Quilpue is very low thanks to the work undertaken by Civil Protection teams," Valparaiso Governor Jorge Martinez said.

To confront the advance of the fire, 30 firefighting units, 25 brigades of forestry agents, 25 cistern trucks, 22 helicopters, and 8 air tankers were deployed over the weekend.

On Saturday, CONAF Director Rodrigo Minuta warned that the fire was intentional, urging authorities to launch an investigation into the incidents. 

Between July 2019 and June 2020, there were 8,125 fires that affected 102,000 hectares. More than 3,500 fires were intentional and the majority occurred in the southern regions of Biobio and Ñuble and in the central region of Valparaiso.

The CONAF leads a Fire Management Program aimed to protect the National System of State Protected Areas (SNASPE) and to contribute to the protection of private rural lands of medium and small owners.

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