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Sunday 25 February 2018

In pictures: Raging wildfires in Chile lead to mass evacuations

In this Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 photo, a mare and her foal are led to safety as wildfires burn in Portezuelo, Chile. The fires have consumed forests, livestock and entire towns, leading President Michelle Bachelet to declare a state of emergency, deploy troops and ask for international help. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017 photo, a mare and her foal are led to safety as wildfires burn in Portezuelo, Chile. The fires have consumed forests, livestock and entire towns, leading President Michelle Bachelet to declare a state of emergency, deploy troops and ask for international help. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
In this Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 photo, wildfires straddle Chile's Dichato community. Strong winds are continuing to stoke the flames of raging wildfires in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 800 families in the coastal town of Dichato. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A wildfire burns close to homes in Chile's Dichato community, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017. Flames from raging wildfires in Chile continued to spread, destroying forests, livestock and entire towns. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
A forest fire rages in the mountains above Portezuelo, Chile, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Flames from raging wildfires in Chile continued to spread, destroying forests, livestock and entire towns. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Firefighters are seen next to wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, in Portezuelo, Chile January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez
A firefighter is seen next to wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, in Portezuelo, Chile January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez
A firefighter tries to stop wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, in Portezuelo, Chile January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez
Firefighters try to stop wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, in Portezuelo, Chile January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez
Horses run away from wildfires in Chile's central-south regions, in Portezuelo, Chile January 30, 2017. REUTERS/Juan Gonzalez
Residents evacuate a home as a wildfire burns in Portezuelo, Chile, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced that the country will continue with its various measures to deal with wild fires, one of the biggest natural disasters in the country for decades, according to a government report released on Sunday. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced that the country will continue with its various measures to deal with wild fires, one of the biggest natural disasters in the country for decades, according to a government report released on Sunday. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Residents watch a wildfire in Portezuelo, Chile, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017. Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has announced that the country will continue with its various measures to deal with wild fires, one of the biggest natural disasters in the country for decades, according to a government report released on Sunday. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

Press Association Reporter

Strong winds are continuing to stoke the flames of raging wildfires in Chile, forcing the evacuation of more than 800 families in the coastal town of Dichato.

Firefighters and residents fought the fast-spreading blazes on the ground on Tuesday, while a Russian supertanker plane and a Brazilian Hercules have dumped thousands of gallons of water on the area.

A Boeing 747-400 supertanker from the United States also assisted local emergency crews on Tuesday.

More than 100 fires have consumed forests, livestock and entire towns, prompting President Michelle Bachelet to declare a state of emergency, deploy troops and ask for international help.

In all, more than 20,000 people, including firefighters and experts from more than a dozen countries, have fought wildfires that Ms Bachelet has called the worst forest disaster in Chile's history.

At least 11 deaths have been blamed on the fires.

The national forestry agency says the blazes have destroyed nearly 904,000 acres since January 15.

Press Association

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