Chile — UPDATE 22:00 hours 20 tourist had to be evacuated because of a forest fire affecting the Torres del Paine National Park. The tourist were moved to a shelter 2 kilometers from the central fire zone. The park is 2,000 kilometers south of Santiago.
Local authorities have requested help from the Chilean Army and firefighters from Rio Turbio in Argentina. Currently the fire is being fought by 67 Conaf firefighters.
ONEMIs regional office has declared a red alert for the Ultima Esperanza province.
Torres del Paine National Park is one of the most visted parks in Patagonia.
OLGUIN At a meeting on Tuesday, the Provincial Committee on Emergency Operations decided to reinforce the efforts against the forest fire in Torres del Paine, with the help of CONAF, the National Forest Corporation, the Army, the Navy and Highway administration.
According to the expert opinion provided by CONAF, the Magallanes regional office for ONEMI, the national emergency service, declared a red alert for the province of Última Esperanza, due to an active wildfire located in Olguín, in the municipality of Torres del Paine.
This high alert is due mainly to the location of the fire, in an inaccessible mountainous area with steep slopes and with strong winds that could cause the rapid spread of the fire. There has not been any effect on nearby buildings as yet.
The National Early Warning Center, in coordination with the Magallanes regional ONEMI office and the relevant technical bodies, maintain ongoing monitoring of the fire, applying the appropriate response plans.
Vicente Nunez, director of national ONEMI said that the regional civil protection system is activated in the field and all necessary operational arrangements are being made to face this emergency. Similarly, this Wednesday at 8:30, the provincial governor, as well as CONAF personnel, are expected to fly over to assess the fire in the Twin Otter aircraft.