At least 22 people have died in connection with widespread forest fires in south-central Chile, according to government officials, Report informs via CNN.

Interior Minister Carolina Tohá confirmed during a news conference on Saturday that 22 people were dead. There were 1,429 people in shelters, 554 injured and 16 suffering severe burns who were in serious condition, she said.

Twenty-eight of the hundreds of fires in Chile in recent days have burned the amount of forest and woodland the country typically loses over the course of a year, Tohá said.

The minister also described record high temperatures in several of the affected regions of Chile.

“The thermometer has reached levels that we’ve never seen until now,” Tohá said.