Chilean firefighters die in rampant wildfire

Five firefighters were killed and a further three were missing on Thursday after trying to stamp out a massive wildfire in a nature preserve in southern Chile. The blaze has destroyed around 24,800 hectares of land and displaced 600 people.


AFP - Five Chilean firefighters died Thursday and another three are missing after tackling a blaze raging in a mountain forest in southern Chile, officials said.

"Ten firefighters were fighting a fire on a mountainside and unfortunately five are dead, three are missing and two have been evacuated by helicopter" after suffering injuries, Cautin provincial governor Miguel Mellado told Canal 13 TV.

Chilean officials said Wednesday that about 24,800 hectares (62,000 acres) had been destroyed by a series of blazes in the neighboring Biobio region, where some 160 homes had been destroyed and 600 people displaced.

President Sebastian Pinera announced Sunday that a five-day inferno in southern Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, a 2,400-square-kilometer (927-square-mile) nature preserve in the Patagonian steppe, had been brought under control.

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