Chile Forest Fire Kills 4, Destroys At Least 500 Homes

A fire in Chile continues to terrorize the port city of Valparaiso with reports indicating the blaze has killed four people and destroyed 500 homes.
Posted at 9:17 AM, Apr 13, 2014

A forest fire in Chile continues to terrorize the port city of Valparaiso with reports indicating the blaze has now killed at least four people and destroyed 500 homes.

Thousands have been evacuated from the city, which was declared a disaster zone by the Chilean president. 

According to Al Jazeera, declaring the port city a disaster zone, simultaneously "puts the armed forces in charge of maintaining order and evacuating thousands of people affected by the smoke and flames."

No word yet on what started the massive blaze but the wind has kept it going. 

Valparaiso has a population of almost 250,000 people and is located right on the water serving as one of the country's most important seaports. Winds blowing into the port city from the Pacific Ocean and the city's close proximity to the water have created the perfect combination to keep the fire going. (Via Wikimedia Commons / JetDriver)

The BBC quotes an emergency official as saying, "The weather is complicating the situation. ... The wind is not doing us any favors."

Reports vary on the number of people that have been evacuated so far but various outlets do report that 200 female inmates had to be evacuated from a local prison. 

Smoke inhalation is a big problem for citizens still in the city. Valparaiso is less than 70 miles from the country's capital Santiago.