23 wildfires recorded in Chile in this month so far

Photo: Martin Bernetti / AFP / Getty

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

The region where four main wildfires were reported is Valparaiso, Maule, and Ñuble. On Sunday, around 4,200 hectares of land were affected in the Quilpue community where the Lago Peñuelas National Reserve became a fire hotspot.

No human casualties have been recorded 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 deployed to control the fire.

"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," said Valparaiso Governor Jorge Martinez.

To stop the fire from further advancing, 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 hinted that the fire was intentional, urging authorities to launch an investigation to look further into the incident.

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

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

Publish : 2021-01-18 21:57:00

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