Santiago de Chile, (EFE).- The Government of Chile reported this Sunday that there are 10 detainees for their alleged involvement in the devastating fires that are destroying thousands of hectares in the center and south of the country, and that the number of victims increased to 24.
“The intentional generation of fires will be criminally prosecuted by the Government. The law is especially harsh (..) The sentences range from 5 to 20 years, “said the Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, at a press conference.
In the last few hours, a man who was hospitalized in the town of Angol, in the La Araucanía region, died due to serious injuries, which increased the death toll to 24.
Monsalve indicated that in addition “there are 26 people hospitalized in the condition of severe burns” and that more than 100,000 hectares and 800 homes were destroyed.
According to the latest report from the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred) of the Chilean Ministry of the Interior, there are currently 260 active fires throughout the country, of which 51 are in combat.
The most affected regions are Ñuble, Biobío and La Araucanía, areas of intense agricultural and forestry activity located 400, 500 and 700 kilometers south of the capital, respectively.
The undersecretary assured that “the activity of the fires during the course of the night was less than expected” because the temperatures have moderated slightly, but he warned that starting Tuesday the south will face a new heat wave, with historical temperatures that They can reach 40 degrees Celsius.
“On Friday, 76 new fires were generated, on Saturday the 16th and today, at this time, we have 8 new fires. We hope they don’t continue to grow,” Monsalve said.
The Chilean government requested international help to fight the fire from countries like Spain, Mexico, Argentina and the United States, and decreed a state of catastrophe in the three most affected regions.
The images recall the wave of fires that hit southern Chile in 2017, the most serious to date and in which a dozen people died.