Several wildfires have been burning across the country over the last weeks, especially in the central and southern areas, causing casualties and damages.
ONEMI reported, as of 27 January at 7.00 UTC, 142 forest fires, of which 77 active, 51 have been controlled and 14 have been extinguished, in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitan, O’Higgins, Maule, Biobio, La Araucania and have so far burnt an area of 289 974 ha.
According to local media, as of the same date, the death toll has reached eight people, of which six in Maule, one in Santiago (Metropolitan) and one more in Biobio. They also reported at least 1 000 buildings destroyed and 5 000 people evacuated in Santa Olga (Maule).
Over the next 48 hours, extreme high temperatures (up to 35°C in Biobio, up to 34°C in Metropolitana, O'Higgins and Maule as well as up to 32°C in La Araucania) and strong winds are forecast for the already affected regions. As of 27 January at 7.00 UTC, ONEMI has issued a Red Alert for forest fires in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitana, O’Higgings, Maule, Biobio.
As of 26 January the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated. France and Portugal have offered Ground Forest Fire Fighting modules teams to be deployed immediately and other several Member States have expressed their intention to contribute as well in the next hours. In addition, the EUCP Mechanism is also in the process of deploying a team of 8 experts consisting of one Disaster Management expert, two Coordination experts, one Information expert, one logistical expert, two TAST experts and one ERCC liaison officer.