by IANS |
Santiago, Feb 4 (IANS) At least five people died in Chile due to raging forest fires, which have consumed at least 8,333 hectares of land, official sources said.
Interior Minister Carolina Toha told reporters that four people had died in the commune of Santa Juana in the Biobio region, one of the areas most affected by the fires some 550 km south of the capital Santiago, reports Xinhua news agency.
They were either overtaken by the fire and burned or had an accident when they tried escaping the fire, she said.
The fifth fatality was a firefighter who died while fighting the Santa Juana blaze, Chile's Fire Department tweeted.
Toha said that there are currently 151 active fires, with 65 under control and 39 being combatted.
On Friday, President Gabriel Boric imposed a state of emergency in the Biobio and Nuble regions.