Three firefighters killed in Chile wildfire

At least four other firefighters were injured.

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.

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.

Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Wildfire burns 100 homes in Chile

The fire burned into the port city of Valparaiso.

On Monday a wildfire burned approximately 100 homes in Valparaiso, Chile. There are reports that 19 people were injured and hundreds were forced to evacuate. The fire was fought by firefighters on the ground assisted by air tankers and helicopters dropping water.

Pushed by strong winds it burned about 120 acres of vegetation 75 miles northwest of Santiago.

An air tanker pilot was killed December 28 while working on a fire in the Bío Bío region.

Video of near-burnover in Chile

Chile fire bomberos

These images are screen grabs from the video below of a near-burnover of firefighters near Valparaiso, Chile. The date of this incident is not known, but it may have happened around March 14. There was a report that 19 firefighters were injured on the fire, five of them badly, but this video may not be related to those injuries. Here is how the video was described in the Daily Mail:

This is the terrifying moment firefighters were forced to flee for their lives after becoming surrounded by towering flames when tackling a forest fire in Chile.

The group had been fighting a blaze around the Pacific ports of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar in the west of the country and thought they had almost extinguished the flames.

But due to the hot and windy weather, the blaze suddenly sprung back to life and they were forced to call in reinforcements from the third and seventh companies of firefighters from Vina del Mar.

Chile fire bomberos

And with the fire spreading much faster than they anticipated, the footage shows the firefighters running and jumping back on to the fire engine for safety and then speeding away from the blaze.

Luckily they make it and avoid being swept up in the flames but not before quickly returning to the scene, when it was safe to do so, to extinguish the fire.

Fireman Valdes, who was one of those that escaped, said: ‘It was pretty hairy for a while, but once we got free we just got stuck back in again, and continued to tackling the fire.

Chile fire bomberos

Dog saves puppies from wildfire by digging shelter

A mama dog in Chile saved her litter of nine puppies by digging a shelter for them. Witnesses saw the black lab lead the puppies behind a large shipping container and dig a shelter under the container while a large fire burned near them in Valparaiso, Chile. After saving her pups the mother dog, who has been nicknamed “Blackie” by rescue workers, found her own shelter. All of the dogs survived and several Valparaíso residents have stepped forward to adopt the entire family.

Somebody give this dog a Red Card!

puppies Chile wildfire

Four civilians killed in recent wildfires

At least four civilians have been killed in wildfires in Chile, India, and the United States since March 12.

In Maryland on Thursday authorities found the body of a man believed to be in his 70s, after they suppressed a wildfire in the western part of the state.

Also on Thursday a man in Halstead, Kansas was fatally burned trying to put out a grass fire. After his pants caught on fire while trying to stomp out flames, Fred Rodenberg suffered 4th and 5th degree burns over 50 percent of his body.

In India, Robert Lobo, 58, died Friday after becoming entrapped by a fire while he was cutting trees in the forest in the district of Kasaragod.

In Chile the death of a woman in her 60s who suffered a heart attack was blamed on a large wildfire that required the evacuation of 7,000 people near Valparaiso. Thirty-two people were injured, including 19 firefighters, a spokesperson from the National Emergency Office said. Five of the firefighters were badly injured, but their lives were not in danger.

In northeast Nebraska on Friday an elderly man suffered burns on his legs when he tried to put out a grass fire that started when strong winds blew embers out of a burn barrel. The fire blackened 30 acres near Crofton.