SANTIAGO, Chile ….(SaebPress).
Thousands of firefighters are battling a deadly inferno that has spread across forests in the central and southern parts of Chile.
According to reports the fires – which are believed to have been caused by a suspected act of arson – has already killed a 75-year-old man and forced hundreds of families to evacuate their homes. While over 70,000 acres of land have been destroyed.
Firemen have made some progress in containing four of the six fires that are raging across the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, one of the country’s top tourist spots
Meanwhile, Chilean police have arrested Rotem Singer, 23, an ‘Israeli tourist’ on suspicions that he may have started the fire through negligence.
However, Chilean prosecutor Juan Melendez said Singer confessed that he permitted the fire to start by not properly disposing of a toilet roll he burned in the park.
“We have a situation of extreme vulnerability,” said Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who called for toughening sentences for arson.
Alejandro Navarro, chief of the Chilean Senate’s Environment Committee, stated that “when someone commits a crime in a foreign country against a heritage site, his country is morally and legally obligated to compensate for the heavy damage.”
Chilean officials have also demanded that Israel provide compensation for the damage the fire has inflicted – a request, Israel has flat out rejected.
The ‘Israeli’ Foreign Ministry on Tuesday published an official statement that addressed the Torres del Paine National Park fire, rejecting Chilean calls for ‘Israel’ to remunerate Chile for the damages. The ministry said that ’Israel’ will plant seedlings in the Chilean nature reserve hit by wildfires but will not send Chile compensation.