Large wildfire engulfs Valparaiso, Chile

A massive wildfireA wildfire is an uncontrolled fire in an area of combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bush fire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, peat fire, vegetation fire, and veldfire may be used to describe the same ... engulfed the Chilean port city of Valparaiso on January 2, 2017. At least 100 homes have been destroyed, more than 400 people were evacuated and 19 injured. City authorities have issued a maximum red alert.

The blaze broke out in the Laguna Verde area and spread to Playa Ancha hill near Valparaiso on Monday, January 2, 2017.

As of early January 3 (UTC), there are 4 active forest fires in the Valparaiso region. Fires in Parcela Regimiento Maipo, Bucalemu, Basural El Molle and Quepilcho have been affecting respectively 40 ha (99 acres), 1 200 ha (2 965 acres), 10 ha (24.7 acres) and 7 ha (17.3 acres) of land.

The Regional Intendente of Valparaiso declared a red alert for the Casablanca “comuna” on January 2. A total of 400 people have been evacuated, including from a camping zone.

According to local media, around 100 houses have been burned in the Puertas Negras community. At 22:00 local time, firefighters and CONAF (forest service) informed that the fire has been contained in the area.

The mayor of Valparaiso, Jorge Sharp, requested soap, towels and toilet paper for the Polideportivo de Playa Ancha sports camp, which shelters 30 people. Other affected families are sheltered by relatives. Donations such as waterClimate change is expected to exacerbate current stresses on water resources from population growth and economic and land-use change, including urbanisation. On a regional scale, mountain snow pack, glaciers and small ice caps play a crucial role in freshwater availability. Widespread mass ..., milk and diapers are being requested and distributed through various organizations and municipalities, ECHO reports.

Authorities said the blaze was fueled by strong winds up to 30 km/h (25 mph), low humidityHumidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is the gaseous state of water and is invisible. Humidity indicates the likelihood of precipitation, dew, or fog. Higher humidity reduces the effectiveness of sweating in cooling the body by reducing the rate of evaporation of moisture ... and high temperatures. It was also blamed on poor sanitation as trash deposited in small ravines that run throughout Valparaiso helped feed it.

“We don’t have any way to prevent people from throwing trash into Valparaiso’s gullies,” deputy interior minister Mahmud Aleuy said. “We insist that it’s not just the civil system that has to do preventative work. People have to do it too.”

The government said an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. Sharp called the state to come up with an overall plan to deal with these kinds of situations.


Video courtesy T13

Video courtesy Euronews

DroughtA period of abnormally dry weather long enough to cause a serious hydrological imbalance. Drought is a relative term, therefore any discussion in terms of precipitation deficit must refer to the particular precipitation-related activity that is under discussion. For example, shortage of ... in Chile has caused a record number of forest fires in 2015, wreaking havoc on Chile’s key forestryForestry is the management and care of woods, including fellings and plantation of new trees..

13 people were killed and more than 2 000 homes burned when a much larger forest fire hit the city in 2014. Many blazes have since hit Valparaiso with fires in March 2015 claiming the life of one woman and forcing 4 500 to evacuate.

Located 120 km (75 miles) northwest of the capitalWealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available for a purpose such as starting a company or investing., Santiago, the colonial city of Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Featured image: Wildfires engulf Valparaiso, Chile – January 2, 2017. Credit: ~N̷3̷V̷3̷r̷M̷O̷R̷3̷~

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