T he charred remains of a house in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso smoulder against an ominously fiery skyline. Savage wildfires have incinerated over 100 homes in the area, forcing the evacuation of around 400 people and causing authorities to issue a red alert. The fires, made more drastic by a blustering wind and soaring temperatures, have already destroyed at least 50 hectares of woodland.
Located roughly 120 km northwest of the capital Santiago, Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to over 285,000 people. The region is highly susceptible to wildfires, particularly around the turn of the year.
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