Helicopters fight a massive forest fire affecting the commune of Quillon, in southern Chile's Bio Bio region Forest fires in southern Chile, fueled by intense heat and strong winds, advanced further Tuesday after destroying nearly 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres), officials said. The worst of the blazes were concentrated in Chile's Bio Bio region, where about 22,500 hectares have been destroyed, according to Chile's National Emergency Office (Onemi). About 500 people have been evacuated from the area and 162 homes destroyed. The damage prompted the authorities to declare the region a "disaster zone," which will allow residents to receive federal emergency assistance. The Chilean government has asked Brazil for an aircraft that can carry water to extinguish flames.