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

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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.

2 thoughts on “Video of near-burnover in Chile”

  1. Scary video! Fortunately it looks like everybody was okay. I hope situations like this will promote improved training policies within their department. When ever I see videos like this or read about close calls I always think back to one of the the fundamentals I was taught; “risk vs gain”. How much is that brush patch or even a house worth?

  2. A common problem within the FF community. Complacency.

    Crew with fire below them, steep slope, light flashy fuels…..
    “Hot and windy, fire spreading faster than they anticipated…”, sounds like common denominators in fatality fires..


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