State of Emergency Remains in Chilean Regions Due to Wild Fires

Santiago de Chile - The Chilean government has extended the state of emergency for regions that have been hit by forest fires that have affected the southern country for more than two weeks, according to media reports.

The measure will remain throughout the summer in Colchagua, Cardenal Caro and in the regions of Maule, Biobío and La Araucanía, said President Michelle Bachelet, when making a new balance on the national emergency.

In order to coordinate the work in these territories, Bachelet will hold a videoconference on Friday with the chiefs of these areas, the ministers deployed there, and the mayors and regional directors of the Ministry of Interior and Public Security.

The president also reported on the delivery of aid and subsidies for affected farmers of the commune of Quirihue and the construction of firewalls in the municipality of Coelemu.

In a report, the Forest Corporation (Conaf) reported that forest fires destroyed more than 450 000 hectares of vegetation, leaving 11 dead people, more than 6 000 people affected, 519 in shelters and nearly 2 000 houses destroyed.

According to Conaf, more than 18 thousand people collaborate in support, combat and fire control, supported by 52 aircrafts.

She also highlighted the work of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team, which is deployed in the Maule and Biobío regions to carry out a diagnosis and analysis of the emergency.