Chile has declared a state of catastrophe in a number of central-southern areas after a devastating heatwave sparked forest fires that left a minimum of 13 individuals lifeless, authorities mentioned.

Greater than 100 houses have been affected and 47,000 hectares of forest destroyed because the fires broke out on Wednesday.

“We have now to announce that there are 13 deaths in complete, 11 within the Santa Juana municipality,” head of the Senaprad nationwide catastrophe company Mauricio Tapia mentioned.

Two crew members of a helicopter that was preventing the fires died in a crash yesterday afternoon, Chile’s agriculture minister Esteban Valenzuela mentioned.

“I’m very unhappy concerning the helicopter crash which killed the pilot and a mechanic who had been working to struggle the hearth” within the La Araucania area, mentioned Mr Valenzuela.

Mr Tapia later added that the pilot was Bolivian and the mechanic Chilean.

The demise toll included a minimum of 4 civilians and a firefighter beforehand reported killed.

The federal government has declared a state of catastrophe within the areas of Nuble and Biobio, however fires have additionally affected the Maule and La Araucania areas.

President Gabriel Boric determined to droop his vacation to go to the affected space, the place there are 204 energetic fires.

Of these, 56 are thought-about uncontrolled.

Inside Minister Carolina Toha mentioned the 4 civilians had died within the Biobio area.

She added that two of the lifeless had been killed when the fires engulfed the highway they had been touring on, whereas the opposite two died in a automobile accident, presumably whereas making an attempt to flee the inferno.

Authorities later mentioned a firefighter had additionally been killed.

The Senapred nationwide catastrophe prevention and response service and the CONAF nationwide forests company mentioned 9 individuals have been damage, together with eight firefighters.

Some 2,300 firefighters and 75 plane are concerned within the battle in opposition to the flames.

The declaration of a state of catastrophe permits additional assets to be made obtainable to fight an emergency.

Nuble has been placed on pink alert, alongside seven municipalities in Biobio.

The heatwave, with temperatures reaching 40C, has created fears of a repeat of the 2017 catastrophe wherein widespread fires in the identical area left 11 individuals lifeless, destroyed 1,500 houses and affected 467,000 hectares of forest.

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