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    46 killed, over 1100 homes impacted; death toll likely to rise | Action Punjab

    Chile forest fires: Raging forest fires have claimed the lives of at least 46 people in Chile, President Gabriel Boric said on Saturday. He also stated that the number of victims is expected to increase, according to NBC News.

    In a press conference, Chilean Interior Minister Carolina Toha stated that there are 92 active fires in Chile, affecting over 43,000 hectares. Toha added that over 1,100 homes have already been affected.

    Boric acknowledged the loss of lives and homes during his virtual address and assured Chileans that the government was actively working to provide resources.

    The president stated, “I know that it is a very difficult time to lose the house that was built with so many years of sacrifice. Losing a family member, a loved one, is a heartbreak impossible to measure, but rest assured that our government is deployed with all the human, technical and budgetary resources.”

    The fires forced evacuations in several areas of central Chile.

    In February 2023, fires swept through more than 400,000 hectares of the country, killing over 22 people.

    Though this year’s fires have not spread as far, Toha stated that they are “multiplying rapidly” and spreading closer to urban areas, posing a “very high” risk of affecting more people and structures.

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    The fires broke out as Chile was experiencing a heat wave that also affected other Latin American countries.

    Boric declared a state of emergency, and red alerts were issued for vulnerable areas. The Chilean Education Ministry has established 20 shelters in the Valparaiso, O’Higgins, and Los Lagos regions.

    Boric also flew over the region to assess the affected areas. “We have worked to have the greatest resources in our history to face the wildfire season and deploy them from day one to prevent (forest fires) and help people,” he said.

    Nineteen helicopters and over 450 firefighters have been dispatched to combat the fires. Furthermore, all major commercial events in Valparaiso, including sporting, recreational, and cultural events, were cancelled to concentrate efforts on the fires.

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    Author: actionpunjab

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