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Homes destroyed by wildfires in Chile Homes destroyed by wildfires are seen in the town of Santa Olga in Constitucion, Chile. (Photo: Cristobal Olivares/Bloomberg)

Chile, scene of the world’s largest-ever earthquake and some of its most active volcanoes, is learning to live with a disaster that is getting worse every summer.

This season, 4,645 fires have destroyed 59,122 hectares (146,000 acres) of woodland, destroying more than 50 homes, killing three and leaving dozens injured or homeless. The flames hit a hill in the center of Santiago last night forcing the partial evacuation of a zoo, while the mountains to the east of the city glowed red and smoke billowed across the main highway to the coast.

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