Forest fires spreading in Chile have destroyed 51,575 acres

SANTIAGO, Chile, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Forest fires in Chile's central southern regions are spreading and have already burned more than 51,575 acres of land, fire officials said.

"We have had worse seasons in terms of material damage, like in 1999 when we lost 264,402 acres, but now we have had several fires in the same period of time and in very remote geographical areas," Conaf firefighting chief Fernando Maldonado told Publimetro.


Two fires are burning uncontrolled in the Metropolitan region, and other fires in the southern regions are still spreading, the Santiago Times reported.

Fifteen fires are burning in the Araucania region alone while eight blazes are raging in the Bio Bio Region, three in the Maule and O'Higgins region and one in the Valparaiso Region.

A Brazilian aircraft is assisting firefighting efforts, the Times said.

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