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Wildfires causing "considerable damage" to Chilean vines

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Chile's wine trade body has said it is still working to assess the full extent of the damage caused by wildfires in the country but confirmed there has been "considerable damage" to old vines.

Wines of Chile said the fires were particularly fierce in the Maule region, where a number of old-vine vineyards have been affected. Parts of the Colchagua region were also hit, the trade association said.

"Chilean authorities have confirmed that fires in heavily-forested regions of the south of the country have extended to vineyard sites," the group told just-drinks. "At present, Wines of Chile is working hard with the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture to establish which vineyards have suffered from the fires and assess the extent of the damage."

Chile has been hit by its worst forest fires in decades, according to local reports. A state of emergency was declared in the region south of Santiago, while skies in the capital were clouded by smoke.The fires began last week and quickly spread because of dry conditions, the BBC said.

Santa Rita Estates told just-drinks its vineyards were not affected but that three of its workers from the Pumanque region lost their homes in fires. The winery said that in Casablanca it remained on alert as fire continues close to its vineyards in the area. A fire that threatened vineyards in the Alto Jahuel has now been extinguished, the company said.

"We are monitoring the situation minute by minute and we are working actively to safeguard all our collaborators and facilities," it added.


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