The Regional Presidential Delegation of Biobío, based on the technical information provided by CONAF and in coordination with the Regional Directorate of ONEMI, declared a Red Alert for the commune of Arauco for forest fire, in force as of today and until the conditions of the fire so warrant.
The information provided by the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF) indicates that the forest fire called “Tropen” is active, consuming an area to be confirmed of 10 hectares of vegetation in the commune of Arauco, presenting proximity to inhabited sectors.
With the declaration of the Red Alert, all the necessary and available resources will be mobilized, in additional support to what has already been deployed by CONAF, Firefighters and the National Disaster Prevention and Response System (SINAPRED). In this way, action will be taken to control the situation, given the extent and severity of the event.
The Chilean Wood Corporation (Corma) denounced that a Koala helicopter that was fighting fires in Arauc was attacked, raising to three the aircraft that this season would have been attacked with bullets while fighting fires, in a fact that they say has become recurrent in the so-called Macrozona Sur.
“The situation is very serious. We are facing criminal actions that have become common where they do not hesitate to put human lives, towns and the environment at risk. This Saturday a helicopter of the Arauco company that was fighting the fire in Tropen, Arauco, Biobío, was attacked with bullets, so it was immediately ordered to land to protect the life of the pilot and avoid a tragedy, “said Juan José Ugarte, president of Corma. He added that this serious armed attack is in addition to the one suffered on Friday by a Conaf aircraft and the Cmpc tanker plane that was attacked with bullets in a fire in Lanalhue in Araucanía a month ago.
“We have evidence, images of simultaneous outbreaks in the middle of the night, of people turning on spotlights, of people shooting at aircraft. Only in Cholchol, Araucanía, last night there were 15 simultaneous foci that demonstrate the clear intentionality of this true ecological crime that puts human lives at risk, “said the union leader.
“The capabilities are clearly being overwhelmed. At the moment there are rural communes where neither brigadistas nor aircraft can enter to fight intentional fires, putting at risk human lives and homes that are defenseless against the fire, “said the head of Corma.
“We are asking the authorities that during this emergency displacement be restricted in rural communes where intentionality in the fires is concentrated, to prevent them from continuing to spread and emergency teams from entering,” he said.
And he stressed that “in areas where there is territorial control by armed groups, emergency teams cannot enter to fight the fire due to lack of security for brigades, personnel and aircraft. We cannot expose their lives, if there is no security.”
Between this Friday and Saturday, the brigades of the forestry companies have fought more than 90 fires, of which today 21 are still in combat. This Saturday the efforts have been concentrated on the fires of Reñico, in Traiguén; Campo Amor, Mulchén, north of the Renaico (Araucanía) and the fire of Tropen, in the province of Arauco, Biobío.