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May 28, 2024
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May 23, 2024

Chilean volunteer firefighter and ex-forestry official arrested for causing forest fire responsible for 137 deaths

AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File

On May 24 a volunteer firefighter and ex-forestry official were detained for allegedly starting a forest fire that occurred in February and killed 137 people and left 16,000 people homeless in Chile. It was ruled by the courts that the two men can be held for up to 180 days while they are being investigated. 

The volunteer firefighter’s name is Francisco Mondaca and is suspected to have helped ignite the fire. It has been released that he was caught with pyrotechnics in his vehicle. The other suspect is named Franco Pinto and is being accused of planning this heinous crime. 

Due to their current and past positions that involve wildfires, it has been speculated that there is an economic motive behind their crime. The prosecutors of the case have not ruled out there being more people involved in executing the wildfire. The forestry agency and fire department have both stated that they will be hyper vigilant in the future to prevent this from occurring again. 

AP News reported that the wildfire “is considered Chile’s worst tragedy since a magnitude 8.8 earthquake killed more than 500 people on Feb. 27, 2010.” The country is still mourning and recovering from this massive tragedy. 

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About the Contributor
Baily Hacker
Baily Hacker, Assistant Editor
Baily Hacker is a Sophomore at Powhatan High School and is an assistant editor for the PHS Arrowhead. In Baily's free time she likes baking, drawing, and hanging out with her friends and cats. She lives with her mom, dad, four cats, and sixteen chickens. Baily believes the news is important because so many people rely on it to know what is happening in the world. Her dream college is JMU and she wants to travel the world.

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