New Wildfires Threaten Chile’s Pacific Coast


The authorities were battling another round of dangerous wildfires along Chile’s Pacific Coast early Thursday morning, several weeks after blazes there killed more than 100 people.

The national disaster agency said on Wednesday night that several communities in the Valparaíso region were being evacuated. That part of the coast is dotted with towns that rise steeply from the ocean.

Fire crews were fighting three fast-moving blazes overnight that were contained but still burning, Carolina Tohá Morales, Chile’s interior minister, told reporters. She said one challenge was that the crew could not send planes to drop water at night.

While the extent of the damage was unclear, she added, the authorities estimated that it affected 15 to 40 homes.

Devastating wildfires swept through the region last month after erupting in Viña del Mar, a coastal resort city about 80 miles by road northwest of Santiago, the capital. They ravaged entire neighborhoods, trapped people fleeing in cars and destroyed thousands of homes.

President Gabriel Boric called those fires Chile’s worst disaster since a cataclysmic 2010 earthquake killed more than 400 people and displaced about 1.5 million more.

Andrés R. Martínez contributed reporting.



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