Fire breaks out in Machu Picchu, Peru

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Peruvian firefighters struggled Thursday to contain a wildfire near the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu as flames threatened to encircle the ancient city high in the Andean mountains.

The fire, which affected an area about half the size of Vatican City, was started on Tuesday by farmers burning grass and debris to prepare for planting new crops.

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As of Wednesday (29), about 20 hectares had been affected by the fire, said the mayor of the neighboring city of Cusco.

Machu Picchu, a complex of stone structures atop a mountain, was built more than 500 years ago by the Incas, whose empire controlled large swaths of South America, from present-day southern Ecuador to central Chile.

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The distance from the fire hampered firefighters’ efforts.

“We have been fighting the forest fire for two days and it was not possible to control it as the area is quite inaccessible,” said Roberto Abarca, director of the Cusco risk and safety management office.

The impressive ruins, which made the region of Cusco the main tourist destination in Peru, are considered one of the new seven wonders of the world.

Source: CNN Brasil

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