Dozens of families found themselves homeless over Christmas after a forest fire in the Chilean tourist port city of Valparaiso burned through two hillside neighborhoods.

A man looks at the destruction caused by a forest fire on Rocuant hill in Valparaiso, Chile, on December 25, 2019 A man looks at the destruction caused by a forest fire on Rocuant hill in Valparaiso, Chile, on December 25, 2019 Photo: AFP / Pablo Rojas Maradiaga

The blaze broke out Tuesday on Rocuant and San Roque hills and continued to burn on Wednesday, though with less intensity. About 245 homes were "affected" by the fire in a matter of hours.

There were no deaths from the fire that had burned 150 hectares (370 acres), though 12 volunteer firefighters were injured.

Aerial view of burned houses after a forest fire on Rocuant hill in Valparaiso, Chile, on December 25, 2019 Aerial view of burned houses after a forest fire on Rocuant hill in Valparaiso, Chile, on December 25, 2019 Photo: AFP / Pablo ROJAS MARIADAGA

Valparaiso governor Jorge Martinez said that although the fire "cannot yet be considered controlled," it is "quite confined" and "does not generate a risk for the population."

Some 150 houses have been destroyed, nearly 2,000 people are without electricity and 12 firefighters have been injured in an ongoing voracious forest fire that affects the tourist Chilean port of Valparaiso.
++ ATTN CLIENT COMPLETE VIDI1NB0EJ_EN ++ Some 150 houses have been destroyed, nearly 2,000 people are without electricity and 12 firefighters have been injured in an ongoing voracious forest fire that affects the tourist Chilean port of Valparaiso. ++ ATTN CLIENT COMPLETE VIDI1NB0EJ_EN ++ Photo: AFPTV / Esteban Gomez

The blaze started in grassy and wooded areas and rapidly advanced to populated neighborhoods in Valparaiso, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northwest of Santiago.

"We were preparing for parties when the fire started. It all happened so quickly, we weren't able to get anything out," said Fabian Olguin, 28, who lives on Rocuant hill.

"Horrible, terrible to see the homes of my neighbors on fire, my home... Unfortunately we are all homeless," a tearful Silvia Puga said.

The cause of the fire, and that of a smaller blaze, was under investigation.

"There are indications that this fire could be intentional," Blumel said.