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Forest Fire Threatens Chilean Towns, Thousands Evacuated

Posted by feww on March 14, 2015

Deadly wildfire menacing two Chilean towns, forcing thousands of evacuations

State of emergency has been declared in Chile and up to 5,000 people have been evacuated as a ferocious wildfire forces thousands of people to flee their homes.

The fire is threatening the port cities of Valparaíso, Chile’s most important seaport, located about 120km northwest of Santiago, and Viña del Mar.

[The port of Viña del Mar is included in the Greater Valparaíso area,  Chile’s third largest metropolitan area, with a population of about 980,000.]

About 5,000 residents have already been evacuated and another 10,000 are on notice to abandon their homes.

At least two people have reportedly been killed and several others, including fire crews, injured, said the local media.

A massive wildfire in Valparaiso last April destroyed thousands of homes, killing at least 15, injuring about 800 and leaving tens of thousands of people homeless.

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