The mega forest fires of Chile - These are the countries who helped
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Starting on 30 January 2023, a series of wildfires broke out in the South American country of Chile. By early February, the fires had developed into a large outbreak of at least 406 individual fires. Several dozen of fires were classified as "red alert fires".
These fires are have come to be in a little bit of a "media shade" since the earthquake in Turkey, and the train accidents in Greece and Ohio. CTIF is actively seeking information about what is happening on the grounds in Chile.
UPDATED MARCH 26:
According to Wikipedia, A total of around 5,600 firefighters and volunteers are still fighting against fires across multiple regions. A DC-10 air tanker from the United States jas arrived in the country to join the firefighters. The craft is capable of dropping 36,000 liters of water.
In Chile, paid, professional firefighters called "brigadistas" concentrate on forest fires while the rest are all volunteers, including those who fight city blazes.
Chile has been suffering from a megadrought since 2010 – the worst for a thousand years. These drought conditions exacerbate summer fires because the vegetation becomes more flammable.
The fires burned more than 430,000 hectares (1,100,000 acres) and resulted in the loss of 24 lives, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency in multiple regions of the country.
Several countries are helping Chile to fight against the wildfires:
- Argentina: Sent 40 brigade members, 15 trucks and a helicopter.
- Brazil: Logistical support through brigade members.
- Colombia: sent a plane and a contingent to put out the forest fires.
- Ecuador: Logistical support through brigade members.
- France 80 firefighters Spain: The Government of Spain sent an A330 plane and 50 brigade members.
- United States: Financial support of 50 thousand dollars.
- Mexico: Two military planes with about 300 volunteers
- Peru: Several helicopters to fight fires.
- Venezuela: Sent 60 brigade members.
- European Union: Sent more than 250 firefighters, coordinators and medical staff.
UPDATED FEBRUARY 10: In order to fight against large forest fires, 80 French firefighters are currently in transit to Chile.
Argentina, Brasilien, Uruguay, Mexico and Spain has already sent offers to bring both personnel and equipment to help.
Struck by an intense heatwave, Chile is battling against large fires. According to the latest report, on Monday, the fires had caused 26 deaths, 1,260 injuries, and left 3,000 people homeless.
France has decided to send 80 firefighters to help fight fight against the deadly forest fires in Chile, and they are currently on their way.
On February 6, CTIF.org wrote:
At least 26 people have died in Chile after wildfires shave affected 99,000 acres of land. The government of Chile has declared a state of emergency in two regions - Biobío and Ñuble - and is asking for help from neighbouring countries.
The fires spread as temperatures are very across the country, and hundreds of homes have been damaged. 40,000 hectares (or 99,000 acres) of land is affected.
Over the weekend, 2300 firefighters have been fighting a total of 232 forest fires, according to Chile´s vice minister of interior Manuel Monsalve.
Several of those who have died are firefighters and rescue workers.
According to Wikipedia as of Monday, February 6, "the Chilean government has reported at least 26 fatalities from the February wildfire outbreak, at least 11 of them in the town of Santa Juana in Biobío. Two of the other fatalities occurred when an emergency services helicopter crashed on February 3, killing its pilot and a mechanic, and a third occurred when a firefighter was struck by a truck while working an incident".
Most of the forest fires are in the regions of Biobío and nearby Ñuble. The government have announced a state of emergency in those areas, and on Saturday the state of emergency was widened to also include Araucania.
40 C / 104 F making extinguishing more difficult
A heatwave in the area, which has brought temperatures of up to 40 C / 104 F, has made the work of managing the fires extra difficult.
The heat and changing climate has made fire risks much more common. According to the Minister of Interior Carolina Toha, what was consider extreme fire risk only three years ago, is now considered common.
"We are becoming one of the nations most vulnerable to forest fires, mainly due to how climate change is developing", she said in a statement.
Illustration (Above) Satellite image of the fires, captured by the MODIS, on 03 February, 2023.