Six Chilean firefighters killed in wildfire

UPDATE January 6, 2012:

The body of the seventh firefighter killed while trying to contain a blaze on the property of the Mininco Forestry company was recovered early Friday.


Six firefighters working on a wildfire in Chile were killed on Thursday when they were entrapped and overrun by flames. Local governor Miguel Mellado was quoted as saying, “the fire suddenly surrounded them because of the wind, they drew closer together, one against another, and saw the fire pass above them”.

During the incident, the group of ten firefighters working for a forestry company were entrapped while they were suppressing the wildfire in a forest near Carahue in Araucania. Six of them were killed, two were badly burned and evacuated by helicopter, one escaped, and one is listed as missing.

Authorities suspect that since multiple fires started almost simultaneously in the regions of Biobio, Maule and Araucania, that the fires were ignited by arsonists.

Our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of these firefighters.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.