Peru: Fire threatens Machu Picchu – It has burned an area equal to half of Vatican City

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Peruvians firefighters fight to contain forest fire close to Machu Picchuthe Inca citadel, as the flames threaten to approach this world-famous archaeological site in the Andes.

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The fire, which has burned an area roughly half the size of Vatican City, broke out on Tuesday when farmers set fire to low vegetation as they prepared their fields for new sowing.

As of yesterday Wednesday, some 200 acres of land had been charred, according to the mayor of the nearby city of Cusco.

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Machu Picchu, a mountaintop complex of stone structures, was built more than 500 years ago by the Inca empire, which stretched across much of South America, from Ecuador to Chile.

The archeological site and breathtaking views have turned the province of Cusco into the top Peruvian tourist destination and is considered one of the seven modern wonders of the world.

The fact that the flames are burning in an inaccessible, isolated area complicates the operations of the fire department.

“We have been fighting this fire for two days and it has not been possible to control it, as the area is impassable,” explained Roberto Abarca, the director of the risk response service in the province of Cusco.

Peruvian media have now reported that progress has been made in the last few hours and firefighters have been able to contain the fire, but note that the danger has not passed and they will continue to “fight” the flames in order to extinguish the fire.

Source: News Beast

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