The Government of Chile has declared a “red alert” in the central part of the country due to the heat wave stemming from 39 major forest fires as the wave keeps spreading throughout the country, most of them in Araucania (17) but also in Bío Bío (7), Ñuble (7), Maule (4), Los Lagos (3), and one in the Santiago Metropolitan Region.
Authorities in the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego Friday confirmed that over 10,000 hectares of land have already been consumed by forest fires, making the current episode the largest such catastrophe in the history of the province.
Argentina is not an easy country to manage, particularly when institutions are weak and governments lack credibility. Such was the experience of president Alberto Fernandez during a visit to Patagonia to announce support for residents that suffered the devastation caused by forest fires in the region.
Soaring temperatures are set to stoke simmering bushfires in Australia's southeast on Thursday with Sydney forecast to hit 41 degrees Celsius following a few days of reprieve.
A voracious fire in the Chilean city of Valparaíso began on Tuesday and extended until after Christmas Eve on Wednesday, leaving about 245 homes destroyed, 2000 people without power and a dozen injured. The authorities believe that the fires in the tourist city were intentional.
Heavy rain that has drenched eastern Bolivia's Chiquitania tropical savanna has put out fires that have ravaged millions of hectares in recent months, authorities said on Sunday.
Argentine forest firefighter Jhonatan Villalva had to be ferried Wednesday to a medical facility after suffering from poisoning by smoke as a result of his deployment to the fire-plagued Chiquitanía area in Bolivia.
Schools in two cities in the Indonesian part of Borneo island will be closed for a week after smoke from forest fires caused air quality to hit dangerous levels, a local government official said on Sunday.
Wildfires raging in Bolivia's forests and grasslands since May have destroyed 1.7 million hectares, officials said on Wednesday, amid a US$11 million effort by the government to contain them.
Bolivian authorities warned this week that 70% of the department of Santa Cruz — where more than a quarter of the country's population lives — is under “extreme risk” from forest fires. According to the government, nearly 500,000 hectares of forest have now been turned into ashes.