The recent devastating fires in Chile have resulted in the loss of at least 99 lives, according to a report from CNN, which cited information from the government's Legal Medical Service (SML).
A state of emergency has been declared in response to the smoke that has enveloped the coastal cities of Chile, compelling residents in key areas to evacuate their homes.
President Gabriel Boric declared on Sunday that Monday and Tuesday would be designated as national days of mourning to honour the fire victims following his visit to the impacted areas, reported CNN, .
He further mentioned in a Sunday press briefing that the number of deaths would rise substantially.
The Valparaiso region's governor, Rodrigo Mundaca, declared on Sunday that a curfew would be imposed in the municipalities of Vina del Mar, Quilpue, Villa Alemana, and Limache to allow authorities to focus on extinguishing the fires.
Valeria Melipillan, the mayor of Quilpue, informed CNN Chile that the fire was likely the biggest ever in the region and approximately 1,400 residences had suffered damage.
While the efforts to evacuate were successful, Melipillan observed that some people in the affected areas were hesitant to abandon their homes.
"Pray for the deceased and injured victims of the devastating fires that have affected central Chile," Pope Francis urged people in a post on X.
Chile's President Boric announced in a televised statement on Saturday that the defense ministry would deploy more military personnel to the affected areas and ensure the provision of necessary supplies.
The fires caused people to evacuate from various areas in central Chile. By February 2023, fires in the country had spread across over 400,000 hectares and resulted in the deaths of over 22 individuals.
While the fires this year haven't spread as extensively, Toha noted that they are rapidly increasing in number and moving closer to urban areas. This raises the likelihood of impacting more people and structures, according to NBC News.
Chile experienced wildfires during a period of intense heat, which has also impacted neighboring Latin American nations. President Boric announced a state of emergency and issued red alerts for areas at high risk.