A large wildfire burning in the Bío-Bío region of central Chile killed one man and forced more than 600 people from their homes in the first days of 2012. Active fire fronts are outlined in red in this image taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on January 2. The large fire is one of several that MODIS detected near the cities of Concepción and Chillán.
For more than a week, firefighting teams have been fighting a series of blazes in the Bío-Bío region, neighboring Araucanía and in southern Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park. In the Araucanía region, it was reported that ten firefighters were trapped by that blaze, with six perishing as the fire swept over them. As of January 8, more than 50,000 hectares (123,000 acres) of woodland and brush were reported destroyed by fires in Chile. Since igniting on December 31, the Bío-Bío fire has destroyed at least 162 homes and a wood manufacturing plant, said local news reports.
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