CHILE: Forest fires in south-central Chile that have already taken 24 lives and burned down hundreds of houses spread to new locations on Wednesday after blazing overnight, destroying the habitats of vulnerable woodland animals.
“We call on everyone who can to take care of the forests, which are currently on fire, and also of our animals, which are specimens of vital importance,” Chillan’s wildlife rehabilitation centre manager, Valentina Aravena, said.
The majority of fatalities and property damage were reported in the south-central Biobio, Nuble, and Auucanian regions, with authorities reporting 2,180 people injured and 1,180 homes destroyed.
Late Wednesday, Interior Minister Carolina Toha declared that the government would impose a curfew in certain provinces starting Thursday. Earlier, she had said that there weren’t enough water tanks and asked the people who made them to make more.
In Chile’s rehabilitation centre, the Ñuble region’s capital, veterinarians treated burns on animals native to the woodlands, like the world’s smallest deer, the monto del monte, the pudus, and a small nocturnal marsupial.
Aravena stated that these were essential species that aid in seed dispersal.
“We try to stabilise them, treat them, relieve pain from the burns they suffered, and ideally rehabilitate them so they can return to the wild,” she continued.
Gabriel Boric, the president of Chile, thanked his Brazilian counterpart for his offer of $672,000 in aid and declared that he would send an air force jet loaded with firefighting tools, personnel, and specialists. Mexico, Colombia, and Spain are providing additional help.
Arauco [RIC:RIC:ANTCOC.UL], a Chilean maker of pulp and wood panels and the forestry division of Empresas Copec (COPEC.SN), stated that 40,000 hectares (98,842 acres) of its plantations may be impacted, while the exact amount is still unknown.
A day earlier, a Chilean minister warned that this week’s anticipated high temperatures could worsen conditions.
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