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Chile forest fires kill at least 112 people with hundreds still missing

Chilean law enforcement said it is investigating reports that the fires may have been purposely started.

Published: February 5, 2024 10:34am

Chile started two official days of mourning on Monday after massive forest fires that broke out late last week killed at least 112 people as firefighters continue to fight blazes in the South American nation.

Hundreds of people are still missing, according to Reuters. The fires damaged about 14,000 homes and particularly ravaged the coastal cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso.

Additionally, Chilean law enforcement said it is investigating reports that the fires may have been purposely started. Two suspects were reportedly detained on suspicion of arson, local media said. 

"These fires began in four points that lit up simultaneously,"  Valparaiso regional Gov. Rodrigo Mundaca said, according to The Associated Press. "As authorities we will have to work rigorously to find who is responsible."

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