Santiago, 6 February 2023 (TDI): Chile has extended an emergency as firefighters struggle to control wildfires. The forest fires killed up to 25 people and injured more than 900 people, according to the government statement.
The Chilean Government has also decided to mobilize the military to control the fires. Interior Minister, Carolina Toha said during the news conference, “Weather conditions have made it very difficult to put out the fires that are spreading.
The emergency is getting worse”. She also added that “we need to reverse the curve at any cost”.According to the authorities, some 232 wildfires were active on Sunday, and the local temperature in the southern hemisphere summer exceeded 40C (104F).
The official data on Friday released showed that about 99,000 acres have been burned by the fires. The wildfires have affected the regions that are densely populated and home to many farms, including where fruits are grown for exports, and also tracts of forest land.
Interior Minister Toha also said that the fires should serve as another wake-up call about the effects of climate change.
Further, she added, “We are becoming one of the vulnerable nations to fires, fundamentally due to the evolution of climate change”.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric cut short his summer vacation and traveled to Nuble and Biobio, an affected region, pledging to make sure that areas receive all necessary support.
President Boric also pointed out that some fires may have been started intentionally but did not provide additional information.
Regional help for Chile
The governments of Argentina, the United States (US), Uruguay, Brazil, Mexico, France, Turkiye, and Spain have offered help to Chile. The Turkish Foreign Minister also sent condolences to the people and government of Chile.
He said, “he was deeply saddened by the loss of lives and injuries”. Further, he added, “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the friendly people and the government of Chile as well as to the families of those who lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to the wounded”.