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Canada to help Chile battle wildfires

Trees burn as flames and smoke engulf an area in Santa Juana, Chile, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. Wildfires are spreading in southern and central Chile, triggering evacuations and the declaration of a state of emergency in some regions. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix) Trees burn as flames and smoke engulf an area in Santa Juana, Chile, Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. Wildfires are spreading in southern and central Chile, triggering evacuations and the declaration of a state of emergency in some regions. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada will be sending firefighting experts and equipment to Chile as the country battles wildfires.

In a statement released on X on Sunday, the prime minister said that Canada will be sending wildland firefighting help, also thanking Chile for its “invaluable support” last summer, when Chile helped Canada fight unprecedented wildfires.

“When wildfires burned across Canada last year, Chile stepped up to provide invaluable support,” Trudeau said on X.

“Now, in response to devastating wildfires impacting our Chilean friends, we’re sending them help – including firefighting experts and wildland firefighting equipment.”

The number of firefighting experts and the specific equipment that will be sent has not yet been declared.

The wildfires that have raged through central Chile have caused a climbing death toll of more than 100, with more than 300 people still missing. 

Wildfires began spreading on the mountainous edge of Vina del Mar, a Chilean beach resort, last Friday. Dry weather and strong wind gusts fuelled the flames towards neighbouring towns, as reported by Associated Press.

Chile’s Forensic Medical Service is working on identifying the bodies of victims caught in the flames. 

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