Chile battles severe forest fire
Chile has been battling some of the most intense forest fires seen in a decade. The area and terrain the fire has engulfed has proven difficult to control, with special firefighting equipment and aircraft drafted in to slow the speed of the blaze.
Local authorities have claimed forestry and livestock has been the worst hit by the blaze, with the fruit industry receiving the least damage. Six regions have been affected, with 1,500 square miles of land scorched. At the time of writing 11 people have lost their lives.
Agriculture minister Carlos Furche said: “The fires occurred mostly in un-irrigated coastal and interior zones where there is no intensive agriculture – with the exception of a few vineyards and olive groves. “Fruit and vegetable production is concentrated in the central valley and this has not been touched at all.”
With much of the seasonal fruit harvest underway, there will be much relief the damage has been minimal. This is an important time of year for countries economy, and although the fire has stretched local infrastructure to its limits, business should continue as normal.