Firefighters presented before the Investigative Commission line of work during megafire – G5noticias

Firefighters presented before the Investigative Commission line of work during megafire – G5noticias
Firefighters presented before the Investigative Commission line of work during megafire – G5noticias

The investigative commission into the megafire that affected the Valparaíso Region received commanders from different fire departments to detail the line of work they carried out during the catastrophe.

The third commander of the Casablanca Fire Department, Maximiliano Barrera, began the presentations. The volunteer recounted the chronology of the work during the day of February 2 and the various outbreaks they attended to. Among his conclusions, he pointed out that “here there was an intention to cause harm. Whether or not the person knew the magnitude of what he was going to cause, I don’t know, but it was intentional.”

The commander of the Valparaíso Fire Department, Vicente Maggiolo, continued. In the session, he detailed the incidents between 00:00 on Friday, February 2 and 10:00 on Saturday, February 3, indicating that the fire was disproportionate from its beginning.

According to his presentation, “for what the incident was, we did not receive additional help. Chile is not prepared for emergencies, we never prevent. It is difficult to be prepared when the conditions are not met,” she emphasized.

The commander of the Villa Alemana Fire Department, Luis Bernal, for his part, also outlined the organization’s lines of work. Among other points, he maintained that, in general, fires have the same behavior in the area.

In his closing, he stated that they had never had a fire that “consumed so much surface area in such a short time, with rapid advances and variable and extreme behavior.” However, they were always responding, he said.

Support in megafire fighting

In turn, the commander of the Quilpué Fire Department, Mauricio Mena, explained the timeline they developed, pointing out that everything happened too quickly.

In this sense, he explained that – initially – the emergency team of the municipality of Quilpué and Carabineros participated together with firefighters. According to him, in his case, Conaf’s support was not enough.

Regarding resources, he said that his budget cannot be reduced or maintained. He explained that “after the pandemic they had a 30% budget increase in terms of equipment.”

“In Quilpué, equipment is purchased for new firefighters through the municipal subsidy. “If there is an increase, our municipal subsidy goes down for this purchase.”


The supervising body of the megafire valued the work of the volunteers in this catastrophe. In this order, they raised the relevance of the exhibitions to advance the work of the commission.

Matters such as reaction times and the budget were mentioned in the debate. Likewise, the issues of fuel supply and the distances for it. Concern was also raised about the breakdown of communications systems and alerts for the evacuation of the population due to the disproportionality of the fire.

In the analysis there was mention that, in addition to the commission’s work of clarifying what happened, there is a duty to improve emergency institutions.

They stressed the importance of talking about autistic, deaf and elderly people when evacuating.

Finally, they expressed their concern about the frontal system that is approaching the area and the precariousness in which the victims of the fire find themselves.

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