8 forest fires rage in Chile, 25 others contained

Eight forest fires are currently raging in Chile, while 25 other fires have been contained so far, authorities said, adding that more than 4,400 hectares in the country’s central and southern regions have been destroyed as a result.

The Interior and Public Security Ministry’s National Emergency Office (Onemi) said on Wednesday that the biggest ongoing blaze has already razed 309 hectares in Palmilla, a commune in the O’Higgins Region to the south of the capital Santiago, reports Xinhua news agency.

The largest fire contained, but not extinguished, has destroyed 1,915 hectares since it was detected on December 6 in the communes of Lolol and Santa Cruz, also in O’Higgins.

A forest fire in the central Santiago Metropolitan Region left one person dead and five injured, and destroyed 46 homes and 659 hectares.

Chile’s meteorological agency issued an alert on Tuesday for seven of the country’s 16 regions due to high temperatures that have sparked dozens of forest fires.

The alert lasts until Friday and applies to the Metropolitan region, which is home to more than 7 million people.

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