The Americas

Chile battles raging wildfires fueled by heat wave, winds

  • Firefighters work to put out a forest fire near the town of Placilla, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region.  (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

    Firefighters work to put out a forest fire near the town of Placilla, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)  (The Associated Press)

  • A firefighter looks up at a plane dropping water on a forest fire near in the town of Placilla, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

    A firefighter looks up at a plane dropping water on a forest fire near in the town of Placilla, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firefighters climb a hill burned by a forest fire near the town of Villa Alemana, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region.  (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

    Firefighters climb a hill burned by a forest fire near the town of Villa Alemana, Chile, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016. Authorities say that about 20 wildfires began last week amid a heat wave and are spreading quickly in the country's central region. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)  (The Associated Press)

About 20 wildfires are spreading quickly in Chile's central region, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people, authorities said Friday.

The National Forestry Corporation said the fires had burned through 19,000 hectares (46,949 acres).

Agency head Aaron Cavieres said there had been no injuries, and most of the area affected is grassland. But he said the blazes were nearing a small village about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northeast of the Chilean capital.

The out-of-control fires began last week amid a heat wave. More blazes started in recent days, fueled by unusually hot and dry weather and strong winds.

Chile's meteorology service said the fires were likely to spread to southern Chile next week due to the high temperatures.