Chile – Forest Fires (DG ECHO, ONEMI, CONAF, Meteo Chile, Local Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 1 February 2017)
A large number of wildfires have been burning across the country over the last weeks, especially in the central and southern areas, causing casualties and damages. The National Office of Emergencies of Interior Ministry (ONEMI) reported, as of 1 February at 7.00 UTC, 151 forest fires, of which 83 are active, 59 have been controlled and 9 have been extinguished in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobio, La Araucania, Los Rios.
ONEMI reported, as of the same date, 11 people dead, 1 103 houses destroyed, leaving 3 810 people affected and 1 159 people in temporary shelter.
As of 1 February at 7.00 UTC, local media reported that so far, an area of at least 400 000 ha has burned.
As of 1 February at 7.00 UTC, ONEMI has issued a Red Alert for forest fires in the regions of Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobio.
Regarding the European response on the ground, the Portuguese team deployed in Santa Ana is fighting a fire that threatens villages near the city of San Javier. The French module in Biobio region is fighting a fire that threatens the city of Dichato and the Spanish team in Chiguayante-Leonera Vieja is fighting a fire that threatens the Nonguén National reserve. On 31 January, Austria and Sweden have offered firefighting equipment and consumables to support the relief efforts in Chile. The offers were accepted by Chilean authorities and transport operations are ongoing.