On March 12, 2017, the communes of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar declared a red alert as a forest fire that started on the Las Palmas road quickly spread to the upper parts of Viña del Mar, forcing the evacuation of several neighborhoods.
In the area of Forestal Alto in Viña del Mar, people were monitoring the spreading of the fire as a sense of helplessness prevailed. As the fire intensified and flames continued to approach, some evacuated the area while others took to their shovels to remove trash and build firewalls to help prevent the spreading and assist the emergency teams.
Difficulty of access to the affected areas, climatic conditions and accumulated garbage (micro basura) contributed to the fire, which is reported to have affected 400 hectares and consumed 16 houses. The smoke derived from the micro basura is regarded as highly toxic.