Wildfire Causes Inmate Evacuation in Chile

Female inmates in Valparaiso moved as wind shifts fire

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chilean authorities have evacuated about 160 female inmates from a prison in Valparaiso after wind carried in sparks from a nearby wildfire.

Valparaiso Police Chief Jaime Barria said Wednesday that there were some pregnant women among those evacuated. He said an undetermined number of male prisoners were moved to the jail’s gymnasium.

The fire broke out in an area called La Polvora in the hills surrounding Valparaiso.

The city is home to Chile’s national legislature and is about 78 miles (127 kilometers) northwest of the capital, Santiago. It has a vibrant port and is known for its colorful, tightly packed neighborhoods that hug steep hillsides.

Chile’s government issued a state of emergency Wednesday for Valparaiso following a string of fires that began last week amid a heat wave.

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