Huge forest fire in Chile spreads quickly near port of Valparaiso, thousands evacuated

A serious forest fire in Chile is spreading quickly and threatening to reach the nearby port cities of Valparaiso and Vina del Mar.

The fire began Friday afternoon and flames were spread quickly by high winds blowing toward the Pacific, leading authorities to declare a state of emergency for both cities.

Deputy Interior Secretary Mahmud Aleuy says about 4,500 people have been evacuated as a precaution. He says some buildings have been destroyed but the damage has not been determined yet.

Last April, a raging fire leaped from hilltop to hilltop in the colorful city of Valparaiso, killing 15 people, injuring more than 500 and destroying more than 2,900 homes.