Chile declared a state of emergency on Friday amid fears of 10 fatalities in forest fires in the Valparaíso region in the central part of the country, where the fires threaten hundreds of homes.
Local officials reported the "preliminary" death toll as President Gabriel Boric declared a state of emergency due to the disaster, mobilizing all necessary resources to combat the fires.
The fires are concentrated in the tourist areas of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, where they have ravaged hundreds of hectares of forests and forced mandatory evacuations.
The fires have already consumed 480 hectares in Valparaíso alone, according to the Chilean National Forest Corporation.
The fires are attributed to a summer heatwave and drought affecting the southern part of South America due to the La Niña weather phenomenon.
Scientists have warned that rising global temperatures increase the risks of natural disasters like extreme heat and wildfires.
While Chile and Colombia grapple with rising temperatures, the heatwave threatens to engulf Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil in the coming days.
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