Wildfire in Peru threatens Machu Picchu as remote location hampers fire control efforts | Peru

Peruvian firefighters were battling to contain a wildfire near the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu as the blaze threatened to close in on the ancient city in the Andean mountains on Thursday.

The blaze, which had engulfed an area about half the size of Vatican City, was started on Tuesday by farmers burning grass and debris to prepare to sow crops.

By Wednesday, about 20 hectares (49 acres) had been affected by the blaze, the mayor of nearby Cusco said.

Machu Picchu, a mountaintop complex of stone structures, was built over 500 years ago by the Incas, whose empire controlled large swathes of South America, from what is now southern the equator to central Chile.

The remoteness of the fire hampered the efforts of the firefighters.

“We have already been fighting the forest fire for two days and it has not been possible to bring it under control, given that the area is quite inaccessible,” said Roberto Abarca, director of the risk and security management office. from Cusco.

The breathtaking ruins, which have made the surrounding region of Cusco Peru’s top tourist destination, are considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

theguardian Gt

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