Chile’s Forest Fire Season Second Worst in Recent History

With hot and dry weather conditions expected to continue through the week, Chilean firefighters are battling out-of-control forest fires. The current forest fires already have the distinction of being the deadliest in the country’s recent history and have the potential of becoming even more deadly, according to a report by Reuters.

Thus far, fires have consumed 270,000 hectares (667,000 acres) of land and killed 26 people in south-central Chile—already making 2023 the second worst year in terms of hectares burned after the so called ‘fire storm’ that burned in Chile in 2017.

As of Monday (2-6-23), Reuters said the state’s National Forestry Corporation was reporting a total of 275 active fires, of which 69 were currently being fought. Between Sunday and Monday, additional firefighting support arrived in Chile from Argentina, Spain, and Mexico. Additional support is expected to arrive shortly from Brazil, Columbia, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, and Venezuela.

Without providing additional details due to nature of ongoing criminal investigations, the country’s interior minister said on Monday that 11 people have been arrested for actions related to the fires, noting that signs point to some of the fires being intentionally set.

FEA compiles the Wood Markets News from various 3rd party sources to provide readers with the latest news impacting forest product markets. Opinions or views expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of FEA.