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FIRE STORM
New fire outbreak kills one in Chile
by Staff Writers
Santiago (AFP) Jan 2, 2012

A fireman fights a massive forest fire affecting the commune of Quillon in southern Chile's Bio Bio region, some 500 Km south of Santiago, on January 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 in Patagonia, officials said Monday. The new inferno already has consumed some 8,000 hectares in the commune of Quillon, according to federal disaster officials. There were at least five active forest fires blazing in Bio Bio that have destroyed at least 30 homes, officials said. Photo courtesy AFP.

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.

Related Links
Forest and Wild Fires - News, Science and Technology




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FIRE STORM
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


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