Santiago de Chile (EFE).- One week after the start of the deadliest wave of fires in recent decades, which has left 24 dead and almost 300,000 hectares devastated, the situation in central and southern Chile is beginning to improve slightly while the Government focuses on recovery and help for affected families.
The spokesperson for the Executive, Camila Vallejo, announced this Thursday morning a set of initial measures to provide support to the victims.
It is about “responding as soon as possible in terms of different types of aid, benefit and accompaniment to the community and municipalities affected by the fires”, said the spokeswoman.
Hand in hand with a Recovery and Early Aid Team that, according to Vallejo, “seeks to be a response from the State between fighting the fires and the reconstruction process,” several actions were designed, including a recovery bond for maximum 1.5 million pesos (about 1,800 dollars) for the affected families, announced on Wednesday by the president, Gabriel Boric, and that will begin to be paid as of next Monday.
Transitional housing will also be offered; support and tax exemptions to small and medium-sized companies, farmers, peasants and beekeepers; educational continuity so that students can start their school year in March; veterinary care for pets and livestock, and rehabilitation of indigenous communities, among others.
These are, according to the Undersecretary of Social Services, Francisca Perales, “the first measures” offered by the Government because they are “the fastest and most immediate” that can be activated, the authority reported.
The latest balance of the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred), records 89 forest fires in combat and 186 already controlled. In addition, there are 5,569 homeless people and 1,180 homes destroyed. The calcined surface is 336,153 hectares.
Fire curfew begins
Thousands of national and international brigade members are still deployed trying to quell the outbreaks that remain uncontrolled. In the midst of these tasks, Jorge Keitel, head of the Defense for the Biobío region, the epicenter of the crisis, confirmed that eight communes in the area will be under curfew as of Friday, February 10, from 00:00 until 05:00 hours.
The heads of Defense of the regions of La Araucanía and Ñuble also reported that several of their communes will be under curfew starting this Thursday, a restriction from which volunteers and emergency workers, security personnel and the media will be exempted. , and public officials of essential services.
Requested by groups of businessmen, aid and emergency services that fight against the fire oppose the curfew because it complicates rapid action against new sources and makes evacuation work difficult in case the flames spread.
The lack of means -in Chile the fire brigade is not professional-, poor forest management and adverse weather conditions have accelerated the tragedy.
A total of fifteen people have been arrested to date for their alleged responsibility at the start of the fire, the majority due to negligence.