Wildfires in Chile

8 January 2012


DLR's Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) used RapidEye satellite imagery to quickly map the extent of the fire damage. The map shows a RapidEye image from January 7, 2012. Fire hot spots indicated on the map are mapped using MODIS data from January 3 and 4, 2012. The extent of the burnt area is approximately 16,900 ha. The extent of the burnt area was derived through semi-automatic image analysis of RapidEye data aquired on February 6, 2011 and January 7, 2012. Map Copyright ©: DLR / The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information 2012

Note by GFMC:

On Tuesday 29 December 2011 a wildfire started to spread inside the Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. GFMC monitored the situation through local focal points and media news. Satellite images were not available for the South Patagonian region of Chile due to permanent cloud cover. In the region of Bio-Bio the satellite image of the wildfires burning in native vegetation and forest plantations near Concepción have been captured on 2 January 2012 (image displayed above). The following links to reports by the local and international media provide the development of the wildfire situation until 5 January 2012, including the reports on fatalities on 5 January 2012. Access to the GFMC internal database will be provide to GFMC partners on request.

The wildfires burning in Chile and neighbouring Argentina are fuelled by the current drought and social conflicts. Please see also this essay:

    - Glaciers go, leaving drought, conflict and tension in Andes

See also Chile Update of 5 January 2012 and Chile Update of 2 January 2012.


Detailed news from the Media:

  • Radicals blamed for huge bushfires (published by www.couriermail.com.au, 07 January 2012)

  • Chile forest fire arrest revives old anti-Jewish theories (published by www.thejc.com, 06 January 2012)

  • SOS staff and children evacuated as forest fires rage in Chile (published by www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk, 05 January 2012)

  • Chilean Church launches campaign for forest fire victims (published by www.catholicnewsagency.com, 05 January 2012)

  • Chile invokes terror law for 'criminal' wildfire (published by www.google.com, 05 January 2012)

  • Sudden shift in Chilean wildfire kills 6 firefighters, badly burns 2; 1 still missing (published by www.washingtonpost.com, 05 January 2012)

  • Wildfires threaten Patagonia’s biodiversity (published by http://blogs.nature.com, 05 January 2012)

  • Chile battles three huge forest fires (published by http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com, 05 January 2012)

  • Argentina pilot fighting forest fire survives crash (published by www.heraldsun.com.au, 05 January 2012)

  • Forest Fire Destroys Arauco Plywood Plant (published by www.woodworkingnetwork.com, 04 January 2012)

  • Response to fires hurts unpopular Pinera (published by www.smh.com.au, 04 January 2012)

  • Chile wildfire started by eco-conscious tourist (published by www.globalpost.com, 03 January 2012)

  • Chilean fire-fighting helicopter sabotaged amidst forest fires (published by www.santiagotimes.cl, 02 January 2012)

  • One Dead in New Fire in Southern Chile (published by www.laht.com, 02 January 2012)

  • Chile battles 3 huge forest fires; 1 killed (published by www.google.com, 02 January 2012)

  • Firefighters tame Patagonian bushfire (published by www.abc.net.au, 02 January 2012)

  • Dad of Israeli suspect in Chile fire: He's innocent (published by www.jpost.com, 01 January 2012)

  • Huge wildfire ravages Patagonia (published by www.rawstory.com, 31 December 2011)

  • Israeli tourist held over massive Chile wildfire (published by www.google.com, 31 December 2011)

  • Fire Forces Chile to Close National Park (published by www.bloomberg.com, 30 December 2011)

  • Chile national park shut down by wildfire (published by www.worldnews.msnbc.msn.com, 30 December 2011)

  • Equipos en terreno mantienen combate a incendio forestal (published by www.onemi.cl, 30 December 2011)

  • Wildfire Closes Chile’s Torres del Paine Park (published by www.bloomberg.com, 30 December 2011)

  • Fire destroys 1,500 hectares of Patagonia forest (published by www.google.com, 30 December 2011)

  • Tourists Evacuated from Chilean Park Due to Fire (published by www.laht.com, 29 December 2011)

  • Red alert set for wildfire in Chile’s Torres del Paine (published by www.ilovechile.cl, 28 December 2011)

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