Fires in Chile
On January 24, 2017, the International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' was activated for forest fires in Chile. The DLR/ZKI is responsible for the Project Management of this Charter Call and supports the ‘Chilean National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry’ (ONEMI) of Chile with the provision of satellite data and value added disaster information products.
A number of forest fires were reported over central Chile in January 2017. A heat wave, coupled with strong winds, spread the flames rapidly. On January 20, a state of emergency has been declared in south-central Chile due to the worst forest fires that the region has experienced in decades. The fires began in the midst of a dry summer with record temperatures reaching 38°C. ONEMI - the Chilean National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry - reported more than 30 active fires, affecting the O'Higgins, Maule and Biobío regions to the south of Chile's capital, Santiago. More than 300 people were evacuated and more than 130 houses were destroyed. Firefighting activities are still ongoing.