Forest fires in central Chile have devastated the coastal nation, with Chile’s National Forestry Corporation reporting that some 238,000 hectares (588,000 acres) have been affected as of date. A state of emergency has been declared for areas south of Chile's capital, Santiago.
“We have never seen something of this size, never in Chile’s history. And the truth is the (firefighting) forces are doing everything that is humanly possible and will continue to do so until the fires are contained and controlled,” said Chile's President, Michelle Bachelet, as quoted by Reuters.
Peru has sent aid to its southern neighbor, along with the US, Mexico, Canada, and South American countries like Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay.
While the US has promised to give US$ 100,000 towards equipment, as well as a Boeing 747 super tanker, it has not been stated what Peru has provided.
Like many countries south of the border, Chile is experiencing extreme dry and hot weather this season, which is likely the cause of the fire. While the devastation is currently concentrated in sparsely populated areas like O’Higgins and El Maule, the fires are greatly affecting farmers and their families.
Chile's Interior Minister Mario Fernandez reports that six people have died trying to put out the fires, including four firefighters and two police officers.