Chilean Wildfires Worsening | Devastation Increases | Update 1

Updated 00:45 PST 1/28/2017

The Chilean people have been suffering for many years as the Country has been plagued by a severe drought, which has covered most of their Country.  No one knows that more than the Country’s Firefighters and Police Officers.  They too have suffered along with their own people they are sworn to Serve and Protect.

Photo Credit: Patricio Sanhueza / CONAF

The severe drought began between the years of 2009 – 2010, worsening as each year passes.

INCIDENT SUMMARY

Central – Southern Chile

Large-scale wildfires are breaking out all over this region. Evidence collected/analyzed shows arson fires starting in several places in the severely drought-ridden areas and showing the results of the perfect firestorm that has come to life.

FIRE FACT: 

“Chile reports ‘normal’ wildfires generally consume between 38,000 – 40,000 hectares or 93,900 – 98,842 acres annually.”

MUTUAL AID

Incident Commander (IC)

  • France:  Wildfire Assessment team from Marseille
  • Chile: Army
  • Working in Region 6

Photo Credit: Patricio Sanhueza / CONAF

Crisis Management Officers

  • USDA: Sending 4

Firefighters

  • France:  40-50.
  • Mexico: 40. (CONAFOR). Arrived on-scene January 25, 2017
  • Colombia:  Unknown # of Bogota FFs are responding.

Funding

  • USAID:  $100,000 USD has been sent to aid in the purchase of local firefighting equipment.

Offers of Assistance

  • Peru

Task Force

  • Canada: In process of deploying TF.

FIRE FACT:  

“240,000 hectares or 593,059 acres are currently burning in the Central – Southern regions of Chile.”

Air Support

  • USA:  SuperTanker from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Private foundation funding is paying for their first initial deployment.  Arrived in the Country on January 25th. Has begun operations
  • Russia:  Offered firefighting helicopters. Accepted by Chilean President.

Photo Credit: Patricio Sanhueza / CONAF

EVACUATIONS

Fires have been burning as far back as December 28, 2016.

In one day, over 10,000 people were evacuated.  This was on January 26, 2017.

INJURIES / FATALITIES

Injuries:  19

Unknown Numbers:  We are working to gather the #s and will provide an update as information is received.

FIRE FACT:

“Multiple Wildfires already being investigated, evidence shows arson fires started in several different places.” 

Killed: 10 persons

Air Tanker Pilot – A SEAT Air Tanker Pilot of was killed on December 28th when his plane crashed approximately 15 km or 9.32 miles near Santa Juana after working on a wildfire in the Bio Bio region.

3 Firefighters – Firefighters were killed on January 15th when they were entrapped and killed.

2 Police Officers:  Their stories are unknown at this time.

6 Civilians:  Limited information.

Infrastructure:

Power Lines:  Collapses occurring.

Photo Credit: Patricio Sanhueza / CONAF

LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

Social Media News:

What people are saying about these fires is shared in this section of the post.

“We just performed three segmented drops in one load. We are on our way back now to reload.” – Global SuperTanker (1/27/2017)

“US in the air supporting Chile during the ongoing wildfire state of emergency.” – Media (1/27/2017)

“Communications technicians working to help people affected by the forest fires.” – Humanity Road (1/27/2017)

“Chile Amateur radio operators recognized.” – Humanity Road (1/27/2017)

“Chile’s wildfires have claimed lives, destroyed timber reserves & hit other industries hard.” – Fire Media (1/26/2017)

“Over 5,000 Firefighters are fighting Chilean Firefighters with no end in sight.” – Fire Media

“Chile! Help is on the way!” – Global SuperTanker (1/24/2017)

Hashtags:

  • #ChileFires
  • #Chile

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