Chile forest fires displace 16,000 people

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VALPARAÍSO, Chile: Chile declared a state of emergency Friday and ordered the evacuation of up to 16,000 people as a raging forest fire led to at least one death and threatened the historic port city of Valparaiso. The fire started Friday in an area of grassland and pine forest near a major thoroughfare connecting Valparaiso—a Unesco world heritage site once dubbed “the jewel of the Pacific”—with several villages. The area also suffered deadly blazes last year, when 15 people were killed. Warm temperatures and strong winds fanned the flames and the blaze was spreading, destroying about 500 hectares of land and advancing to within just a few miles of Valparaiso. A 67-year-old woman died from a heart attack, authorities said, after the national emergency office declared a red alert in the area.

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AFP

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