ua en ru

46 people died due to forest fires in Chile: Number of casualties may increase

46 people died due to forest fires in Chile: Number of casualties may increase Forest fires in Chile (photo:

As a result of raging wildfires in central Chile, at least 46 people have lost their lives. The country's president, Gabriel Boric, warns that the number of casualties is likely to increase, according to Reuters.

According to Chilean authorities, the areas around the coastal tourist town of Vina del Mar have been most affected by the wildfires.

Forest fires are raging in various parts of the Valparaíso region, home to nearly one million residents.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire, utilizing helicopters and trucks, while rescue operations are ongoing.

The forest fire area increased from 30,000 to 43,000 hectares between Friday and Saturday. Chile's Interior Minister, Carolina Toha, reported over 90 active fires nationwide on February 3, with 19 known fatalities at that time. However, the death toll has since risen.

President Boric, giving an update to the nation, said 40 people were killed in the fires and another six died from burns in hospitals.

"Given the conditions of the tragedy, the number of victims is sure to increase over the next few hours," he said.

Forest fires in Chile

Forest fires in this country in western South America often occur during the summer months, and last year, during a record heatwave, wildfires claimed the lives of around 27 people and affected over 400,000 hectares.

However, the head of the Chilean Ministry of the Interior notes that while the area of fires in February is much smaller than last year, the affected area due to the fires is rapidly increasing. Additionally, according to the officials, the most significant concern for the authorities is that some active fires are developing very close to urban areas, increasing the risk to people, buildings, and other civilian objects.

Earlier reports mentioned a plane crash in Chile in January involving an aircraft engaged in firefighting efforts. The crash resulted in the death of the pilot, and three other individuals were injured.