Chile – Forest Fires Update (DG ECHO, ONEMI, CONAF, Meteo Chile, Local Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 3 February 2017)

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  • A large number of wildfires have been burning across the country over the past weeks, especially in the central and southern regions, causing casualties and damages. The National Office of Emergencies of Interior Ministry (ONEMI) reported, as of 3 February at 7.00 UTC, 131 forest fires, of which 51 active, 68 have been controlled and 12 have been extinguished, in the regions of Coquimbo, Valparaiso, Metropolitan, O'Higgins, Biobio, La Araucania, Los Rios.
  • ONEMI reported, as of the same date, 11 deaths and 6 318 people affected. 1 590 houses have been destroyed and 583 people are in temporary shelters. The National Forestry Corporation of the Agriculture Ministry (CONAF) reported that over 586 000 ha have been burnt since July 2016.
  • Over the next 72 hours, a gradual transition of hot and dry weather to cooler and locally rainy conditions (more pronounced on 4 February) are forecast to take place over the areas affected by forest fires. As of 3 February at 7.00 UTC, ONEMI has issued a Red Alert for forest fires in the regions of Valparaiso, Metropolitan, Maule, O'Higgins and Biobio.
  • The EU response on the ground is continuing. The Portuguese Module (52 person team) is fighting fires in the Maule region along a 3.8 km fire front. The French Module (69 person team) and the Spanish Module (56 person team) are fighting fires in the Biobio region.