Chile Forest Fires Kill 51

Santiago: Forest fires in central Chile have claimed the lives of at least 51 people, with the death toll expected to rise, as emergency services struggle to contain flames encroaching on urban areas.

The Valparaiso region, housing nearly one million inhabitants, is shrouded in black smoke, and firefighting efforts, employing helicopters and trucks, are underway.

Particularly affected is the coastal tourist city of Vina del Mar, where rescue teams face challenges reaching impacted zones. While wildfires are common during Chile’s summer, the rapidly multiplying affected hectares pose an alarming threat to communities.

Last year, a record heat wave claimed 27 lives and impacted over 990,000 acres. The current fires have already expanded from 30,000 to 43,000 hectares.

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