LIMA – Forest fires are affecting 10 regions in Peru, including four protected natural zones in the northern provinces of Cajamarca, Lambayeque and Tumbes, the Sernanp national protected areas service reported on Wednesday.
The entity, which reports to the Environment Ministry, said in a statement that the fires are burning in the Cutervo National Park, the Pagaibamba Protection Forest, the Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge and the Cerros de Amotape National Park.
Sernanp added that significant efforts are being put forth by “different state institutions” to control and mitigate the fires.
The agency also said that the fires have spread due to a combination of factors, namely high temperatures, strong winds and the dry climate characteristic of the northern part of the country
In addition to the fire brigades deployed to fight the blazes, 30 park rangers experienced in dealing with forest fires have been dispatched from the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary, the Alto Mayo Protection Forest and the Huascaran National Park.
Those experts are heading the emergency brigades comprised of army troops, volunteer park rangers and residents of nearby communities.
“The outstanding participation of this group of expert park rangers is not only found on the fire line, but also in their sharing of their knowledge about prevention and control of forest fires,” Sernanp said.
Given the spread of the fires, the Peruvian government on Monday declared a state of emergency in the districts of Socota, San Andres de Cutervo, Querocoto and Querocotillo in Cajamarca, as well as in Salas, Cañaris and Inkahuasi in Lambayeque.
The measure was announced by the head of the Council of Ministers, Fernando Zavala, who said that it was taken to allow the government to continue mobilizing personnel, resources and equipment to deal with the fires and attend to the affected population.
In addition, a team of Mexican experts arrived in Peru on Wednesday to join the groups fighting the fires, Canal N television reported.