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Chilean city continues to burn


Sparks fly during a forest fire in Valparaiso, Chile, on April 13. Authorities say the fires have destroyed hundreds of homes, forced the evacuation of thousands and claimed the lives of 12. (AP/Luis Hidalgo)

A massive fire raged this weekend through the port city of Valparaiso, Chile, killing 12 people, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands to evacuate.

The fire started on a hillside ravine on Saturday and spread when hot ash rained down on wooden houses and narrow streets, which lack municipal water systems, according to The Associated Press. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency and called the fire a tremendous tragedy and perhaps the worst fire in the history of Valparaiso.”

The fire continues to blaze for a second night, AP reports:

From the sky, 20 helicopters and planes were mobilized to drop water on hotspots, but Chile’s national emergency office said the battle was far from won. “This won’t be extinguished, not today nor tomorrow,” the office tweeted after issuing a new alert when fires kicked up again Sunday afternoon.


Nick Kirkpatrick is the foreign photo editor at the Washington Post. Follow him on Instagram or Twitter.



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