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Reuters

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A number of houses were gutted by the fires

At least 50 houses have been engulfed by fast moving forest fires in the Chilean city of Valparaíso, prompting a mass evacuation.

All the city’s firefighters have been deployed to tackle the fires in the Rocuant and San Roque areas.

Power was cut to about 90,000 customers in the area as a precautionary measure.

Valparaíso Mayor Jorge Sharp told Canal 24 Horas that the fires had been started “intentionally”. There have been no reports of any casualties.

“At the moment, emergency teams from all over Valparaíso are working, using land and air resources, in two areas in the higher part of the city,” the mayor said.

He added that strong winds and high temperatures were exacerbating the situation. Valparaíso is one of Chile’s largest cities and a major port on the Pacific.

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Reuters

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Valparaíso’s firefighters are trying to contain the fires

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Reuters

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Firefighting helicopters have also been deployed

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Reuters

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Residents have desperately tried to salvage their personal belongings in the festive period



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