Wildfires causing major damage, deaths in Chile

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Emergency services in Chile are battling 100 wildfires. They’ve engulfed more than 4000 square kilometers and left at least 11 people dead. Residents of Chilean towns on the front line are being evacuated in the face of the advancing blaze.

CGTN’s Dan Collyns reports.

Wildfires causing major damage, deaths in Chile

Wildfires causing major damage, deaths in Chile

Chile people are battling the wildfires. There's no shortage of hands ready to help and international aid is flooding in. But the forested hills continue to smolder. CGTN's Dan Collyns reports.
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Taking to the skies to douse the flames, helicopter and its pilots have been working all the daylights hours to dump water, 1,000 liters at a time on the burning forest. It can make up to 50 water drops in two hours but it’s only been just enough to stem the flames.

“To fight it was nearly impossible because of the smoke, very low visibility and it was so huge mainly what we did was try to protect houses and persons,” Eduardo Serra, a helicopter pilot said. Thanks to evacuations no lives were lost, just handful of houses.

But by day, the fight continues as young volunteers’ battle the blaze with nothing more than shovels. Volunteers here are working frantically in a race against time to put out these flames before they reach homes on the other side of this forest. They tell reporters that as soon as the put out the fire one place, they crop up somewhere else.

Meanwhile the town is a hub of activity; paramedics treat locals and public official praise firefighters as a steady stream of volunteers continued to arrive.

“We are in full combat, we still haven’t put out the fire, it is still consuming hectares of land. This fire is active and we haven’t defeated it yet, we’ll attack from the air and we have more firefighters from Venezuela, we have 80 firefighters here now,” Alvaro Miguides, governor of Nuble province.

There’s no shortage of hands ready to help and international aid is flooding in. But the forested hills continue to smolder.