Wildfire Forces Evacuation in Valparaiso, Chile

Photo by AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo

A wildfire has destroyed at least 100 homes in Valparaiso, Chile, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts thousands of travelers per year, Deutsche Welle reports. Around 400 people have been evacuated and 19 injured, mostly from smoke inhalation. 

The government told Deutsche Welle that investigators have been sent to the area to examine the cause of the blaze. Electricity had been cut to around 47,000 households in the region, although it has mostly been restored. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced that “emergency protocols have been activated.”

The fire started along the city’s hillsides and grew due to strong winds and hot summer weather. The fire has also destroyed around 123 acres of woods. Dozens of fire brigades have been deployed to fight the wildfire. 

In 2014, a larger fire killed 13 people in the city and burned down around 2,000 homes. The town has also been hit by smaller fires since then.