cover image: Despite known coastal cooling trend, risk of deadly wildfires in central Chile increasing with changing land management in a warming climate: full report

20.500.12592/v15f147

Despite known coastal cooling trend, risk of deadly wildfires in central Chile increasing with changing land management in a warming climate: full report

22 Feb 2024

During the early days of February 2024, a low-pressure system formed along the coast of central Chile, a well-known phenomenon affecting the western coast of subtropical South America, known as the coastal low. It leads to clear skies and high temperatures as well as strong winds due to an inverted pressure gradient between an intense subtropical high extending well into midlatitudes and the coastal low farther north. These conditions are highly conducive to wildfires and on February 2, 2024, wildfires ignited in the mountainous forested areas east of, forested areas east of the city Viña del Mar and around Lake Peñuelas. The flames rapidly advanced into densely populated city outskirts despite authorities’ efforts to curb their spread. The humanitarian impact continues to worsen, with over 29,000 hectares burnt since February 4, resulting in 132 deaths, 300 missing, 7,200 houses destroyed and 40,000 people affected. An international team of researchers collaborated to assess to what extent human-induced climate change altered the likelihood and intensity of the weather conditions at the time of the fires, and how the conditions will be affected with further warming.
climate chile wildfires

Authors

Joyce Kimutai, Tomás Carrasco-Escaff, René Darío Garreaud, Mariam Zachariah, Clair Barnes

DOI
https://doi.org/10.25561/109375
Published in
United Kingdom

Related Topics

All