(MENAFN- Gulf Times) At least 13 people were reported dead as a result of the more than 150 wildfires burning across Chile that have destroyed homes and thousands of acres of forest while the South American country is in the midst of a scorching heat wave.
Four of the deaths involved two separate vehicles in the Biobio region, around 560 kilometres (348 miles) south of the capital of Santiago.
'In one case they were burned because they were hit by the fire,' Interior Minister Carolina Toha said. In the other case, she said, the victims died in a crash, 'probably trying to escape the fire.'
The fifth victim was a firefighter who was run over by a fire truck while combatting a blaze in the area.
As of midday Friday, 151 wildfires were burning throughout Chile, including 65 declared under control. The fires had blazed through more than 14,000 hectares (34,595 acres).
The heat wave hitting Chile is set to continue with high temperatures and strong winds that could make the wildfires more challenging.
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