VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Part of circulating clip shows Chile wildfires, NOT Iran’s attack on Israel

The clip shows fires engulfing areas in Israel after Iran’s airstrikes on April 14.

Facebook user さ か ま 04/14/2024 Misleading

The original clip uploaded by a TikTok user on Feb. 4, 2024 shows wildfires devastating Chile’s Valparaiso region.

A clip supposedly showing roaring fire engulfing areas in Israel after Iran’s retaliatory airstrikes on April 14 has been posted as a Facebook (FB) reel. This is misleading as the first part of the video shows wildfires in Chile early this year.

Uploaded on April 14 on FB and TikTok, the first 22 seconds of a one-minute video show vehicles and people in the foreground as fires devastate the areas in the background. The video bore the text:

“Live now, Israel. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God)! Go! Iran. Iran is responding strongly now, oh my God.”

This is partly incorrect. The earlier part of the clip is footage of wildfires raging in Chile’s Valparaiso region last February. It is the latter part that shows images from Israel amid Iran’s recent drone and missile attacks.

The original clip of the wildfires was first uploaded by TikTok user pat_land on Feb. 4, two months before the Iran air strikes. The video is currently unavailable but can be viewed in this archive

It includes a caption of residents evacuating as wildfires tore through the Achupallas neighborhood in Viña del Mar, a city in Chile’s Valparaiso region. The caption read: 

Evacuando #incendio #achupallas terrible ver como se queman casitas de vecinos y amigos mas doloroso es ver a los animalitos chamuscados arrancando. que dios nos ayude (Evacuating #fire #achupallas. It is terrible to see the houses of neighbors and friends being burned, but it is more painful to see the charred animals being torn away. May God help us). 

Twitter user @chile_accion also posted a copy of the clip on Feb. 4. 

According to reports, the fires that started in Viña del Mar on Feb. 2 and spread through other areas left 131 people dead.

The clip circulated online after Iran launched at the weekend hundreds of missiles and drones directed at Israel, as seen in the latter part of the video where projectiles lit up the sky. The attack was in response to the April 1 air strike on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria. 

This comes six months after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel that triggered the ongoing war between the two. Iran maintains a regional alliance with Hamas, Syria and the Shi’ite Islamist group Hezbollah in Lebanon. 

The Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv earlier warned Filipinos in Israel to avoid going to or postpone travel to places in Jerusalem, West Bank and those near the borders of Gaza and Lebanon due to the ongoing tensions. 

VERA Files Fact Check previously debunked videos claiming to show Iran’s attack on Israel. (Read FB Reel DOES NOT show Iran exploding gas station in Israel

The FB user’s post containing the misleading clip garnered 1,000 reactions, 33 comments, 682 shares and 34,000 views. The copy uploaded on TikTok by user isse_xytu also garnered 12,100 reactions, 1,818 comments, 3,149 shares and 489,100 views.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)