Thousands evacuated in Chile as fire threatens port city Valparaiso

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 13, 2015 8:08 PM

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A forest fire was raging out of control on Friday evening, threatening the Chilean port city of Valparaiso, Chile's emergency service Onemi said.

As a precaution, Onemi said 4,500 people were being evacuated from Valparaiso and neighboring Vina del Mar and a state of emergency had been declared.

The fire was advancing rapidly, and the numbers being evacuated could shortly rise to 15,000, said Onemi.

Forest fires are common in Chile around March time, and have been particularly savage this year after a hot, dry summer. In 2014, a fire in Valparaiso killed 13 people and consumed over 2,000 homes.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien, Anthony Esposito and Fabian Cambero; editing by Andrew Hay)