According to the newspaper El País, the fires caused chaos and traffic jams on Friday evening local time, which is why the authorities declared a curfew in several municipalities for Saturday.
“Now we have almost a hundred active fires, four dozen of them are under control. In the last 24 hours, the area of fires has expanded from 30,000 hectares to 43,000,” said Interior Minister Carolina Toháová, according to El País newspaper.
Some set up on purpose?
She added that the fires have already claimed the lives of at least 19 people. But according to her, the tragic balance may not be final, because some places are still inaccessible due to the flames. “There is a suspicion that some fires were started intentionally,” added the minister.
Chilean President Gabriel Boric has declared a state of disaster in two provinces of the Valparaíso region, where the situation is most critical. Strong winds and high temperatures make it difficult for firefighters to fight the fires, it is now summer in Chile. The fires also affected the surroundings of the popular seaside resort of Viňa del Mar.