Devastating Fires, Chile
During its long dry season, south and central Chile are often struck by a thousands of forest fires. The previous season (2015-2016) brought more fires than the 1990-2000 average that is reported by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). In the course of January this year, dozens of fires broke out, fuelled by a heat wave and strong winds. This triggered the Chilean President to declare a state of emergency in the affected areas on January 20, the evacuation of over 200 people in Pichilemu. The fires also burnt through commercial pine and eucalyptus forests and shrouded the nation’s capital of Santiago in a thick haze.
In this false-colour image, captured by Proba-V on January 27, the massive smoke is clearly visible in an area to the south of Pichilemu. The Andes mountains, on the border with Argentina, provide for impressive contrast.