Chile’s President Gabriel Boric has declared a state of emergency after local authorities confirmed the death of at least 112 people by forest fires in Chile’s Valparaíso region.


Boric reacting to the devastating news said he would make all necessary resources available to tackle the situation, which is believed to be Chile’s deadliest forest fire on record.


In a swift response to the emergency situation, the health ministry has called for the suspension of elective surgeries and authorised temporary field hospitals to be set up, with medical students nearing the end of their studies hired to help ease pressures on the health service.


Delegate to the UN Climate change conference, Henna Hundal expressed dismay at the outbreak, revealing that local claim the fire was started deliberately.


Interior Minister Carolina Tohá said the death toll would reach much higher figures in the coming hours as rescue services have struggled to reach the most badly affected areas, with the Chilean government urging people not to travel to the areas hit by the fires.


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