On Wednesday, December 20, the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) issued a red alert - the highest level - for the commune of Malloa (located in the O'Higgins region) due to an ongoing wildfire; the alert remains in effect as of early Thursday. As of late Wednesday, the San Luis de Pelequén fire had burned 210 hectares (520 acres) of land in close proximity to a populated area.
Chile was devastated by a string of major forest fires in January 2017, spread by strong and unpredictable winds that severely hindered firefighting efforts. Authorities reported that the fires resulted in the deaths of 11 people, the destruction of around 1500 houses, and over 580,000 hectares of land burned (1.4 million acres).
Individuals in the area are advised to keep abreast of the situation and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.