Wildfire burning in the Bío-Bío region of central Chile Image: acquired on January 2, 2012. Instrument: Aqua – MODIS
A large wildfire burning in the Bío-Bío region of central Chile killed one man and forced more than 600 people from their homes in the first days of 2012. Active fire fronts are outlined in red in this image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASAs Aqua satellite on January 2. The large fire is one of several that MODIS detected near the cities of Concepción and Chillán.
The wildfire is burning through both commercial pine and eucalyptus forest and native forest. Since igniting on December 31, the fire has destroyed 162 homes and a wood manufacturing plant, said local news reports.
Warm temperatures and dry conditions contributed to the spread of fires throughout Chile in late December and early January. In southern Chile, another large fire burned more than 30,000 acres of native forest in Torres del Paine National Park. Clouds have prevented MODIS from imaging the fire. Though fire conditions are extreme, officials suspect that people started both fires.
Track fire activity in twice-daily images of both central and southern Chile on the LANCE MODIS Rapid Response System.
Note by GFMC:
On Tuesday 29 December 2011 a wildfire started to spread inside the Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. GFMC monitored the situation through local focal points and media news. Satellite images were not available for the South Patagonian region of Chile due to permanent cloud cover. In the region of Bio-Bio the satellite image of the wildfires burning in native vegetation and forest plantations near Concepción have been captured on 2 January 2012 (image displayed above). The following links to reports by the local and international media provide the development of the wildfire situation until 2 January 2012. Access to the GFMC internal database will be provide to GFMC partners on request. Detailed news from the Media: