chile wildfire photographs

Runaway forest fires ravaged the coastal hills of central Chile, taking scores of lives, with hundreds of people reported as missing. Thousands of homes were destroyed, especially in the hilly neighborhoods around the resort town of Viña del Mar, where many older residents were not able to escape. The fires exploded on Friday amid unusually warm weather and strong winds.

“We’re standing before a tragedy of immense proportions,” President Gabriel Boric said on Sunday, as survivors sought to comprehend their losses. He announced that the nation would observe two days of mourning.

Uberlinda Silva, 72, in her burned house in El Olivar.

Cristóbal Olivares for The New York Times

Burned cars in El Olivar, which is in the Valparaiso region.

Cristóbal Olivares for The New York Times

A man tried to douse a fire in Quilpe, in the Valparaiso region.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The body of a fire victim in Viña del Mar.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A helicopter fighting the forest fires in the hills of Quilpe.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Rescuing animals in the hills of Quilpe.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Residents viewing burned vehicles in Viña del Mar.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The view from Viña del Mar the day the fires began.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Cars and homes aflame in Viña del Mar.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Residents evacuating their homes in Viña del Mar.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Residents of Valparaiso viewing the fires as they swept through nearby Viña del Mar.

Javier Torres/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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