Vast Areas of Forest Destroyed by Fast-Spreading Fires in Chile

Forest fires that have destroyed more than half a million hectares in Chile retreated somewhat Sunday, with the help of U.S. and Russian supertanker aircraft and the arrival of specialist teams from other countries.

There were 118 fires of which 59 were active, an official from the National Forest Corporation said.

Authorities say inadequate preparation for climate change and large mono-culture plantations have contributed to Chile’s worst forest fires in recent history

In Portezuelo of the Bio Bio region, around 400 kilometers south of the capital, Santiago, residents attempted to create a firewall to fend off a large blaze, but they were forced to abandon their plan and evacuate the area after the wind direction changed.           

Other areas were also still at danger, forcing police and military to evacuate residents and close roads.

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