TIME Chile

Wildfires Rage in Chile

At least 16 people are dead from wildfires burning around the coastal town of Valparaiso, Chile.

Strong winds have fanned the flames, making it difficult for firefighters to stop the blaze from spreading to over 2,000 acres of steep terrain. Homes are mostly wood, often built on hillsides with narrow access roads and no fire hydrants.

The fires have so far destroyed roughly 2,000 homes, and displaced at least 10,000 people. Until the burning is controlled, local officials expect those numbers will continue to rise.

To curb looting, the Chilean government has called in police from all over the country. Officials are also drawing up a plan to evacuate a nearby prison that is in danger of being swallowed by the flames.

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