1. Home
  2. Agriculture World

Deadly Wildfires Threaten Over 750 Hectares of Forest & Farmland in Chile

In Chile, wildfires have consumed more than 750 hectares (1,853 acres) of forest, destroying houses and threatening farms and forests as the South American country suffers from a summer heatwave in the country's southern and central swaths.

Shivam Dwivedi
Chile's Interior Ministry issued a red alert for the Nuble and Biobio regions
Chile's Interior Ministry issued a red alert for the Nuble and Biobio regions

A wildfire is an unintentional fire that occurs in a natural area such as a forest, or grassland. Wildfires are frequently caused by human activity or natural phenomena such as lightning, and they can occur at any time or in any location. It is unknown how 50% of the wildfires recorded started.

According to the National Forestry Corporation, the fire has so far covered 550 hectares, an area nearly three times the size of Monaco, near the city of Chillan, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) from Santiago (Conaf).

Another 200 hectares of the Nuble region have also been ravaged, according to the report. "It's as if your life has ended," said Juan Pradenas, a mechanic whose Chillan home was destroyed by the fire. "At my age, I have to fight again to reclaim my equipment; I lost all of my working tools. It's terrible," Rosa Torres, who lives near Chillan," added.

"The fire was there, we could see it from afar, and then the wind changed, and the fire was here in the blink of an eye." Chile's Interior Ministry issued a red alert for the Nuble and Biobio regions, further south, as it seeks additional funding to combat the blaze in areas with more intensive forestry and agricultural production.

Due to the risk of new fires, the ministry has also temporarily closed seven national parks in Santiago and some of Chile's southern regions. Due to the risk of fire, authorities have also ordered the evacuation of rural areas in the Nuble region.

The government is also concerned that the Puelche, a hot, dry wind that is expected to arrive soon over central and southern Chile, will add to the challenges faced by a region that is already experiencing temperatures of 42°C (108°F). "It's a very complicated combination," Agriculture Minister Esteban Valenzuela told reporters.

Magnoliaceous Quiz: Take a Quiz on National Mango Day Take a quiz
Share your comments
FactCheck in Agriculture Project

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters