Chile"s wildfire death toll has risen to at least 24, with almost another 1,000 people injured as firefighters work to control one of the country’s worst natural disasters in years, writes abc.net.au.
President Gabriel Boric’s government has issued emergency declarations for the largely rural southern regions of Biobio, Nuble and Araucania in an effort to hasten relief efforts. The fires had consumed 270,000 hectares, officials said.
A searing heat wave has complicated efforts to extinguish the flames, with temperatures in some areas exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.
Pockets of intense fire could be seen leaping out from the forested hills off the coast near the town of Dichato, just outside the city of Concepcion, in the Biobio region, on Saturday night, as light from the flames illuminated boats in the small harbour.
There were 260 active fires across the parched region, interior ministry officials said, with 28 of them considered especially dangerous.