Chile firefighters battle blazes amid warning that wildfires could get worse.
Wildfires & Mega Drought Devastate Chile.
Note: Global Justice Ecology Project traveled through the region of Chile devastated by wildfires in the country’s historic 2015-2016 fire season. We posted a photo essay of the devastating fires as a result of our investigation.
The following are excerpts from an article discussing the 2023 wildfires, originally Posted Feb 6, 2023 on The Guardian.
Chilean firefighters are battling to hold back forest fires as authorities warned that persistent hot and dry weather could potentially exacerbate what are already the deadliest blazes in the country’s recent history.
The fires, which have consumed 270,000 hectares (667,000 acres) of land, have killed 24 people so far in south-central Chile and already made 2023 the second worst year in terms of hectares burned after the so-called “fire storm” that hit the country in 2017.
Chile is in the grip of an over decade-long period of dry weather, which the World Meteorological Organization called a “mega drought” last year, adding that it was the longest in a thousand years and marked a major water crisis.
The country’s interior minister said on Monday that 11 people so far had been arrested for actions related to the fires.
On Friday, [President Gabriel] Boric pointed to signs that some of the fires may have been started intentionally.
Between Sunday and Monday, aid arrived in Chile from Argentina, Spain and Mexico, while the authorities said they expected to receive new support from Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal and Venezuela.
You can read the full article on The Guardian website.