Massive Wildfire in Chile Kills Ten, Destroys Entire Town (PHOTOS)

Friday, January 27, 2017
By Paul Martin

The worst wildfire to strike Chile in modern history has claimed 10 lives since November 2016, officials say. Over 1,000 buildings have been destroyed by the blaze, and some 6,000 Chileans have been displaced.

The ten dead include three residents, two policemen, and five firefighters. According to reports, three of the 10 died battling blazes on Wednesday, January 25. Firefighters took a moment to mourn one of their own who died on Wednesday helping a family evacuate their burning home.

The blaze has ravaged the town of Santa Olga, virtually destroying the settlement. Most of the destroyed buildings were homes, but the local post office and kindergarten were also engulfed.

The fire is the result of a prolonged drought and record-breaking heat wave, and spread via strong winds. The disaster has destroyed an estimated 680,000 acres (over 1,000 square miles) of forest. Dry vegetation in Chile’s verdant central regions burns easily, leading to over 90 uncontained forest fires currently.

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