Three wildland firefighters were killed Sunday January 15 while battling a fire in the commune of Vichuquén, Maule Region of Chile. An ongoing drought and variable winds led to extreme fire behavior when the accident occurred.
According to Cooperative.cl the deceased were identified as:
- Ricardo Salas, head of the Maqui 3 brigade,
- Wilfredo Salgado, crew chief Maqui 3 and,
- Sergio Faúndez, head of the second crew Maqui 6.
Below is another quote from the above website. It is translated by Google and is a little rough:
The manager of Fire Protection Conaf, Andrés Mascareñ or, noted that 14 years ago no such fact occurred in the region and said that activate the relevant protocols to protect personnel.
“Since 2003 we did not have an accident of this level and all these years we have been presenting a critical situation of forest fires and we have faced them properly,” said the executive.
“According to the protocol we have, when situations such as these occur, the tasks are stopped and measures of safeguarding the personnel are taken,” added Mascareño.
Because this incident has consumed about 50 hectares of pine and presents a conflictive behavior, given the high temperatures and wind generating new outbreaks of fire, the Municipality of Maule decreed for the commune of Vichuquén Red Alert until conditions so They deserve it.
Firefighters in Chile have been very busy in recent weeks. The pilot of a single engine air tanker was killed December 28 when the aircraft crashed about 15 kilometers from the town of Santa Juana after working on a wildfire in the Bío Bío region.
— Cooperativa (@Cooperativa) January 15, 2017
Google translation of the above tweet:
President Bachelet lamented death of Brigadiers of Conaf and expressed its appreciation for the work carried out.
Our sincere condolences go out to the families and coworkers.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to @Tragahumosfire.
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