More than 2,000 farmers in Chile have suffered in the worst forest fires the country has ever experienced, with a state of catastrophe declared by the country’s government.

Almost 1,000 farmers in the worst-affected areas have had emergency fodder supplies delivered to them for their animals by the Ministry of Agriculture and agricultural development agency INDAP.

Thousands of bales of fodder and sacks of feed have been rushed to the worst-affected farms in the past 10 days.

Some 560,000ha of land have been caught up in wildfires burning since January and the worst-affected areas are the O’Higgins, Maule and Biobío regions, where 942 farmers have received emergency fodder.

However it is estimated that 2,145 farmers have been affected by the ferocious wildfires. Officials in INDAP say that 2,310 cattle, 8,693 sheep and goats, 968 horses and 11,395 hives are owned by those farmers.

Some 2,310 cattle, 8,693 sheep and goats, 968 horses and 11,395 hives are located in wildfire-afflicted regions

In the O’Higgins Region, 13,252 sacks of alfalfa have been delivered to 288 farmers and in the Maule Region, 8,056 bales of fodder have been distributed to 526 farmers.

In the Biobío Region 1,052 bags of alfalfa cubes have been delivered to 128 farmers.

Veterinary supplies have also been delivered to the fire-afflicted regions, while some beehives have been moved and the bees supplied with sugar to keep them alive as their usual feed source has been destroyed by fire. Some small farmers are also being granted emergency financial aid.

Farmers have donated their tractors and spraying and dragging equipment to the fire brigades battling the flames.

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