UPDATED 3:05 PM PT — Friday, August 7, 2020
A wildfire in the Andes Mountains has reportedly claimed the lives of at least seven people. On Thursday evening, residents near Cusco, Peru fought back flames that tore through nearby pine forests.
Locals shoveled dirt and battled spot fires before emergency services arrived. A joint effort between Peruvian police and forest fire rangers was able to contain the flames after a few hours.
Despite this, residents believe the damage has been done.
“We’re really worried about our plants, our forests,” stated one local. “More than 300,000 planted pine trees, so much sacrifice that the people and the community took upon themselves, all for this.”
????Guardaparques bomberos forestales del #Sernanp controlan incendio en zona colindante al sector Acjanaco (Cusco) del Parque Nacional del Manu.
✅Acciones se realizaron en coordinación con bomberos de Paucartambo, Municipalidad de Challabamba y empresa ITAWEN. pic.twitter.com/VsbLGKXsNH
— SERNANP (@SERNANP) August 6, 2020
According to local officials, as much as 50 acres of pine forest may have been affected by the fires. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.