Wild fires tear through thousands of hectares in northern Peru

CCTV News

Wild fires tear through thousands of hectares in northern Peru

Forest fires have swept through parts of northern Peru after unusually dry weather, strong winds and high temperatures. At least two people have died and four injured.

Nearly 12,000 hectares (46 square miles) have been burned.

CCTV’s Dan Collyns reports from Peru.

Firefighters struggle to fight fires in north Peru

Firefighters struggle to fight fires in north Peru

Forest fires have swept through parts of northern Peru after unusually dry weather, strong winds and high temperatures. At least two people have died and four injured. Nearly 12,000 hectares (46 square miles) have been burned. CCTV's Dan Collyns reports from Peru.

Fueled by tinder dry forests and high winds, wild fires tore through thousands of hectares of open country in northern Peru.

Local farmers and residents said there was little time to save belongings as firemen did what they could.

Firefighters, local volunteers and park guards battled the flames often without enough water.

Peru declared a state of emergency in parts of the country.

Fires also hit more than five protected natural areas such as the Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge, home to South America’s only native bear.

Scientists say droughts in South America are more frequent and more intense, and this could be linked to climate change.

A special brigade of firefighters normally stationed at the Inca city of Machu Picchu has been sent to tackle the blaze.

The strength and extent of the fires took Peru by surprise.

Authorities have accepted they need to be better prepared the next time.