At least 11 dead in massive Chile wildfires | Tunisia News Gazette

At least 11 dead in massive Chile wildfires

At least 11 people were killed as massive wildfires swept over central and Southwestern Chile, government officials said Saturday.

President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency in what she called the worst wildfires in the country’s history, according to CNN.

“We have never seen anything on this scale, never in the history of Chile,” Bachelet said.

Many of the dead were firefighters who battled more than 100 separate and largely uncontrolled wildfires spreading throughout the country.

Government reports said about half of the fires are uncontrolled and historically high temperatures have caused the flames to burn more than 593,000 acres of land.

More than 5,000 people were forced to evacuate, most from the town of Santa Olga, which was engulfed by the fire on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported.

At least 2,000 homes were destroyed by the fire leaving 8,000 people without a place to live.

The president called for national unity in the face of the disaster.

Source: TAP news Agency

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