Chile: Forest fires destroy more than 750 hectares

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 Chile: Wildfires destroy over 750 hectares

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A massive fire has destroyed more than 750 hectares of forest in Chile amid intense heat in the southern and central regions of the country. The houses of local residents adjacent to the forest have also been destroyed, and crops are under threat.

According to the National Forest Corporation (Conaf), by now the fire has covered about 550 hectares, which is almost three times from the city of Chillán, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the capital Santiago.

About 200 hectares were also burned in another part of the Nublé area, the department added.

” It's like the apocalypse, — said Juan Pradenas, a mechanic whose house in Chillán was destroyed by fire.— “At my age, I need to start over again from scratch to restore my equipment, I lost all my working tools.”

The Ministry of the Interior of Chile has declared a red alert for the regions of Nublé and Biobio, located further south as it hopes to get more funds to fight the fire in areas with more intensive forestry and agricultural production.

The ministry has also temporarily closed seven national parks in Santiago and parts of southern Chile due to the risk of new fires.
The authorities have also ordered the evacuation of the rural areas of the Nublia region due to a fire hazard.

The government also fears that the puelche — hot dry wind phenomenon expected to hit central and southern Chile soon, — can create problems for a region where temperatures of 42°C have already been recorded.

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