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Several killed, 2,000 homes destroyed in Chile wildfire

A wildfire that ripped through parts of Chilean port city Valparaiso has claimed several lives after burning through 1,729 acres of forest and residential neighbourhoods.

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Chilean President declares state of emergency

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency and sent the army in to maintain order after a wildfire destroyed 500 houses in the Chilean port city of Valparaiso.

Residents of the this morning awoke to stench-filled scene of smoke, ash and sirens. Marines have been patrolling the streets while ambulance crews treat people for smoke inhalation and other injuries.

A man digs through the rubble of a home destroyed by wildfires. Credit: REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

While the blaze inflicting most of the damage overnight, firefighters today continued to try to douse active points of the blaze.

"It is still not completely extinguished," Ricardo Bravo, a local government official said.

Residents survey the damage of the wildfire. Credit: REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

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