At least 13 killed as Chile struggles to contain raging wildfires
As of midday Friday, 151 wildfires were burning throughout Chile, including 65 declared under control. The fires had blazed through more than 14,000 hectares (34,595 acres).
At least 13 people were reported dead as of Friday night as a result of the more than 150 wildfires burning across Chile that have destroyed homes and thousands of acres of forest.
Four of the deaths involved two separate vehicles in the Biobío region, around 560 kilometers (348 miles) south of the capital of Santiago.
Later in the afternoon, a helicopter that was helping combat the flames crashed in the Araucanía region, killing the pilot, a Bolivian national, and a mechanic, who was Chilean.
Most of the wildfires are in Biobío and neighboring Ñuble, where the government has declared states of catastrophe that allows greater coordination with the military.
The heat wave hitting Chile is set to continue with high temperatures and strong winds that could make the wildfires more challenging.
President Gabriel Boric suspended his vacation to travel to the affected areas on Friday and said there is “evidence” that some of the wildfires were sparked by unauthorized burnings.