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‘The Greatest Forest Disaster in Our History’: Wildfires Tear Through Chile

A series of wildfires has devastated homes, farmland and livestock in a large area of southern and central Chile over the past week.

A prolonged drought and high temperatures have worsened the blazes, which have so far destroyed around 300,000 acres of forest land and killed three firefighters. The government has declared a state of emergency, deployed 1,200 troops to support the efforts of firefighters, and appealed for help from other countries.

Chile has “practically exhausted its capacity to fight the blaze,” President Michelle Bachelet said, adding that her country was living through “the greatest forest disaster in our history.”

Fierce winds and smoldering ash have complicated the challenge of containing the blazes.

So far, no civilians have been killed, though many have lost their homes, property and animals.

Source: NYT > World

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