by Staff Writers
Santiago (AFP) Jan 2, 2012
A new forest fire has claimed one life in southern Chile just hours after firefighters tamed a massive blaze that consumed 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) in Patagonia, officials said Monday.
The new inferno already has consumed some 8,000 hectares in the commune of Quillon in southern Chile's Biobio region, some 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Santiago, according to federal disaster officials.
There were at least five active forest fires blazing in Biobio that have destroyed at least 30 homes, officials said.
Late Sunday, President Sebastian Pinera announced that several hundred firefighters had succeeded in extinguishing a five-day old inferno in southern Chile's Torres del Paine National Park, a 2,400-square-kilometer (927-square-mile) nature preserve in the Patagonian steppes.
The national park is located about 3,000 kilometers south of Santiago.
Police have accused Israeli citizen Rotem Singer, 23, of causing the fire by negligently trying to extinguish a burning roll of toilet paper, although he denies the charges.
The young man was arrested Saturday and released hours later on a condition that he not leave the region. He faces a possible sentence of 40 to 60 days in jail and a fine of about $300.
Pinera described the penalties as too low and announced a "profound modification" in Chile's forest protection laws. He proposes increasing penalties for anyone who causes forest fires either intentionally or negligently.
In the past few days, as many as 15 forest fires of various degrees of severity have raged throughout Chile.
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Firefighters make inroads against Chile wildfire
Santiago (AFP) Jan 1, 2012
Firefighters in Chile made inroads Sunday in their battle against a massive wildfire that has consumed 30,000 acres (12,500 hectares) of a national park that is one of the jewels of Patagonia, officials said Sunday. Vicente Nunez, Chile's top emergency officials said Sunday that the five-day old inferno has failed to spread over the past 10 hours - a hopeful sign that efforts to contain it ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|