Francisco Ruiz-Tagle: “The forestry industry must be protected rather than demonized”

In an interview with Ex-Ante, the CMPC CEO addressed the forest fires that affected Chile in the month of February. He highlighted intentionality as the main cause of these fires. “Fire is not the responsibility of the forestry industry,” he said.

In the midst of the emergency caused by the fires burning in south-central Chile, CMPC CEO Francisco Ruiz-Tagle, on the ground in the disaster zone, spoke with Ex-Ante about what is going on in the affected municipal districts and the high degree of fake news circulating about the industry. “What we must never lose sight of is that fires are lit by humans either intentionally or due to negligence. Fire is not the responsibility of the forestry industry. This industry should be protected rather than demonized,” he said. 

He added that there are detainees as well as evidence that clearly shows the intentional nature of the various hotspots. “Fires have appeared in fields with only wheat stubble, where there is nothing much there. The intentionality is extremely evident and the local authorities have a very clear understanding of this.”

In this regard, he highlighted the ongoing joint work that has been done with the mayors of many of the affected districts and said, “They too are very aware of the intentional fire starting going on.”

He was very open to entering into dialogue with the government to address possible future scenarios. “I think we must have these conversations. But in order to do so, we have to have information that is completely reliable, scientific, real and not based on disinformation, fake news or similar stories we’ve been hearing that are not true.”

Check out the full interview here