Red alert in Valparaíso after forest fire scorches 400 hectares

SANTIAGO – A forest fire located in the area “Parcela Santa Ignacia” in the municipalities of Limache and Villa Alemana, has forced staff of the National Forestry Corporation (Conaf) and firefighters of sectors close to a tough fight against fire that already consumed at least 400 hectares of pasture and scrubland.

The fire was recorded during afternoon hours of Saturday in El Maqui, Limache, Valparaíso. While another fire on the Santa Ignacia plot kept the neighbors of the sector at risk, with more than one hundred hectares burned.

The ONEMI decreed “red alert” because of the seriousness of the situation in Santa Ignacia, because the flames would have been wild for a moment.

Leonardo Moder, director of the Conaf in the region of Valparaiso, said the emergency was partially controlled, and that this Sunday will monitor the sector in order to avoid possible sprouts.

According to the information provided by Conaf, six brigades, two AT planes and a helicopter of the institution work, as well as volunteers from various fire companies were busy in controlling the situation.

Firefighters from Quillota, La Cruz, and La Calera also moved to the city of Limache to fight the fires.

Three people with metal tools were detained by the Carabineros in the vicinity of the Santa Ignacia de Limache farm. According to Captain Cristián Becerra, from the Laborar de Valparaíso, they were working with power tools in the vicinity of the fire.

They were finally released after a warning.

More than 350 hectares have been consumed by the fire that was keeping red alert in Limache.

According to authorities, the fire was partially controlled and its perimeter was being secured to prevent its extension.

The Office of the Prosecutor determined that the Laboratory of Criminalistics of Carabineros (Labocar), will be the entity in charge of determining the origin of the fire.