Santiago de Chile (EFE).- Chile maintains 302 active fires in south-central Chile, with 82 of them in combat, after a week and a half of uncontrolled fires that have already burned more than 425,000 hectares of forest and agricultural land, leaving 24 deaths and close to 1,500 houses burnt down.
According to the latest report from the National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred) of the Chilean Ministry of the Interior, the hardest-hit regions are Biobío, with 197,561, La Araucanía, with 100,397, and Ñuble, with 63,830 affected hectares.
In addition to the deceased, the health services have treated a total of 2,862 people, and the victims are at least 5,980.
The Undersecretary of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, reported at a press conference this Monday that 14 fires with a high capacity to continue burning are of particular concern, one of those in the Santa Juana commune, in the Biobío region, has become the largest of the recent history of Chile, with 64,000 hectares affected.
Monsalve assured that this last weekend and until this Wednesday a “climate window” has been installed in the south-central part of the country that helps fight the fires, although the high temperatures and the extreme alert for fires in the center remain. around the Metropolitan Region.
Monsalve warned that as of Wednesday high temperatures return to the areas hardest hit by the fires, from Maule to La Araucanía, between 250 and 600 kilometers south of the capital.
“We are in a process of containing the emergency, but it has not finished yet, and all public and private institutions remain on alert,” said the undersecretary.
Extensive deployment to control fires
Nearly 10,500 people are still deployed on the ground nationwide to fight the fires: 3,200 volunteer firefighters and 3,600 land brigade members on the first line, in addition to 3,700 members of the Chilean Armed Forces and Police in the second line of fire.
Chilean authorities and private agents also have 117 aircraft and 645 firefighting vehicles or machinery active.
The lack of resources (in Chile the fire brigade is not professional), the mismanagement of the forests and the adverse climatic conditions accelerated the tragedy, the most serious of its nature in the country.
Start the reconstruction
Chile began on Monday the “definitive reconstruction” plans in areas affected by the mega fires that shook the south-central part of the country more than a week ago.
As detailed to Radio Biobío by the presidential manager designated for this task, the former Minister of Housing of Michelle Bachelet, Paula Saball, it is a company that has three main axes, whose heart is in the “territorial articulation”.
“The President has asked me for three things: greater proximity to the communities, the people, to have territorial relevance; that the process be absolutely linked to each of the territorial instances hand in hand with the mayors, presidential delegates, governors, and that it has to be with all available hands, the support of the private sector, academia, civil society and all the State,” Saball said in the local media.
“The first thing I am going to do is comply with this mandate, be on the ground, collect the diagnosis, take the work that the ministers have done in each zone and begin to baste what the axes will be, measures of the definitive reconstruction process” he added.