The fire that has been raging in the Chilean tourist town of Valparaiso in western Chile since Tuesday has totally or partially destroyed 200 homes, left almost 2,000 people without electricity and injured 12 firefighters, the Chilean government said on Wednesday.
The fire devastated 150 hectares in the hills of Rocuant and San Roque and 200 houses were "hit by the fire," Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel said in a statement, adding that the damage "is still being assessed," Lusa reported. .
"We have made progress in (fire) control, but it is not yet under control," he said in the same statement. "The fire is low intensity," the national forest administration said Wednesday night.
The fire began on Tuesday in an area of pastures and woods, before spreading rapidly to houses, wood and slabs. In the wake of the fire, police, firefighters and the army withdrew from the same dozens of families preparing to celebrate Christmas, many of them in emergency accommodation.
"Twelve volunteer firefighters were injured and 1,715 homes were without electricity," said the National Emergency Situations Office.
Another, more circumscribed fire struck nine hectares of vegetation in the same area, officials said.
The Chilean Government has opened an investigation into the causes of the fires, which mobilizes 12 combat units, soldiers, seven tankers and eleven helicopters.