CMPC participates in firedrills in three regions of Chile

The exercises were conducted in the Maule, Ñuble and La Araucanía regions of the country. CONAF, CORMA, Forestal Arauco, Forestal Aurora and several fire departments all participated in the activity.

In order to properly respond in a timely manner to an emergency situation under critical conditions of temperature, wind and relative humidity, CMPC got together with various stakeholders to engage in fire drills. Drills were conducted in the Catillo sector of the Maule Region, the Ñiquén district of the Ñuble Region and the Collipulli district of the La Araucanía Región.

In addition to CMPC, the National Forestry Corporation (CONAF), the Chilean Timber Corporation (CORMA), Forestal Arauco, Forestal Aurora and fire departments from the Maule, Ñuble and La Araucanía regions participated in the event. 

CMPC’s Northern Territory Protection Chief Ricardo Pinochet said, “CMPC is a key player for the strategy and the gamut of protection programs associated with controlling forest fires and accidents. Our program is significant and plays an essential role in society.” Pinochet also said, “These are occasions where we can learn a great deal. A large part of the attendees have substantial firefighting experience, but there are also colleagues or members of organizations without any experience, so these occasions are unique opportunities.”


In the Ñuble Region, the fire simulation reached as far as the Maule Region, specifically from the Semita area to the town of Catillo as reported by CMPC Community Relations Department Director Karina Pérez in that region. She also said that a great collaborative effort was made by the teams that were involved. She highlighted the presence of women in the drills. “The fact that we have women working here on this drill has to do with the restructuring that forestry companies have been doing. This is no small thing. It’s a significant step forward. Currently, we have 15 women on the team. This is reflected not only in the internal structure of CMPC, but in the structure of other forestry companies as well. Moreover, we have three women on our multipurpose and firefighting brigades, mainly first strike in the territories where we operate.”

For his part, Alejandro Gonzalez, captain of the First Company of the Ñiquén Fire Department, which was a strategic and fundamental part of the work carried out on the ground, said, “This operation’s aim was to coordinate and carry out an effective effort for the community. Our job is to plan evacuations and protect housing for the community, for people, animals and any living being that needs to be evacuated.”

The Fire Department support came in the form of water transport vehicles to fight structural fires that function with various technologies, systems and satellites. Alejandro González added, “We have cameras and drones for identifying many other types of emergencies, not just forest-related ones. We use the same amount of resources, the same amount of vehicles and technologies.”

For his part, Lieutenant Colonel Eduardo Cartagena, Civil Affairs Officer of the National Defense Headquarters of La Araucanía, Chile, said that the work carried out together with all the entities is essential to support tasks and provide security.  

“This drill is part of all the prevention activities that are being carried out by the National Forestry Corporation, the delegation and those of us at the National Defense Headquarters of La Araucanía. The Army’s missions are aimed at supporting firefighting tasks in a second line with our Army forestry brigades and also providing security and supporting evacuation tasks.”

Similarly, the representative of the Department of Forest Protection of the Chilean Timber Corporation, CORMA, Silvia Hormazábal, described the activity and the drill exercise as positive and said, “It helped us identify gaps and complications that we may have while an emergency is underway in light of the fact that there are many factors involved such as the safety of people and their property as well as the fire control itself. That’s why it’s so important that we’re well coordinated beforehand.”