Chile: At least ten arrested for the fires in Chile, which have already killed 24 people

Firefighter works to extinguish a fire in Nacimiento, Chile – YIN NAN / XINHUA NEWS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Chilean authorities have arrested at least ten people for their alleged responsibility in the wave of fires that the South American country is suffering and that has caused 24 fatalities until Sunday, according to a new balance of the situation offered by the Government.

The vice-minister of the Interior, Manuel Monsalve, has confirmed this Sunday the death of one person hospitalized in Angol, in the Araucanía region, while 26 other victims remain hospitalized and with serious burns in different centers.

The Government has also confirmed that more than 1,100 people have been attended to, as well as some 800 homes destroyed, which shows the virulence of the fires that are mainly affecting areas of central and southern Chile.

The National Disaster Prevention and Response Service (Senapred) estimates that there are some 260 fires registered throughout the country, of which fifty are still active, and of these, 28 are considered particularly dangerous.

According to the Government, some 270,000 hectares of land have already burned, a figure that places this forest emergency as the second most serious in Chile’s recent history, only behind that of 2017, when nearly 600,000 hectares were razed to the ground.

JAIL SENTENCES Likewise, according to the vice minister «there are 10 detainees for eventual responsibility in the generation of fires» during these last days.

«I want to reiterate, and I want to be very categorical about this, the intentional generation of fires is going to be criminally prosecuted by the Government», warned Monsalve in his appearance, according to the newspaper ‘El Mercurio’. The penalties associated with this type of crime range from five to 20 years in prison.

The Chilean president, Gabriel Boric, has traveled to the south to participate in the funeral of a volunteer firefighter who lost her life fighting fires and has proclaimed to the family that «they are not alone». He also reiterated his gratitude to the firefighting services for «the tremendous sacrifice they are making».