Forest fires in Chile, fueled by a heat wave, have left a devastating impact, with 23 people confirmed dead and 979 others injured. Three regions of the country, including Biobio, Nuble, and Araucania, have declared a state of emergency.
The raging fires have also forced over 1,100 individuals to evacuate and seek refuge in shelters, while destroying at least 88 homes and vast expanses of forest land measuring 47,000 hectares. The wildfires have also resulted in the loss of a firefighter’s life and left eight others injured, with two helicopter crew members also losing their lives during firefighting efforts.
The Chilean government has responded by deploying 75 aircraft and 2,300 firefighters to combat the fires, with President Gabriel Boric visiting the affected areas in Nuble and Biobio and promising to provide all necessary aid.
The situation, however, is dire, with Interior Minister Carolina Toha stating that Chile is becoming one of the nations most vulnerable to fires due to the effects of climate change.