Forest fires raging in central Chile have killed at least 46 people, President Gabriel Boric said, warning that the death toll is likely to keep rising.

Black smoke billowed into the sky over many parts of the Valparaiso region, home to nearly one million inhabitants in central Chile, while firefighters using helicopters and trucks struggled to quell the flames.

Areas around the coastal tourist city of Vina del Mar have been some of the hardest hit and rescue teams were struggling to reach all the affected areas, Chilean authorities said in a press conference.

Throughout the country there were 92 active fires, leaving more than 43,000 hectares affected by the incident, Interior Minister Carolina Toha said.

The fires broke out as Chile faces a heat wave that has affected other Latin American countries as well.

Wildfires are not uncommon in Chile. In February 2023, fires in the country swept through more than 400,000 hectares and killed more than 22 people. (QNA)
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