Wildfires – Peru
Wildfires have torn through more than 22,000 hectares (54,363 acres) of forest, protected areas and farmland in drought-stricken parts of Peru as the Andean country suffers one of its driest periods in years, authorities said on Thursday.
The spate of wildfires in the past week were likely started by accident after peasant farmers burned fields to prepare them for planting.
Strong winds fanned the flames that quickly crossed the Andean regions of Cajamarca and Lambayeque in northern Peru, which are experiencing prolonged droughts, Ortega said.
Fires have been contained in five nature reserves, including the Laquipampa Wildlife Refuge that is home to the protected spectacled bear, the inspiration for the Paddington Bear character in English children’s literature.
In September, wildfires along the Ene River in a southern Amazonian region destroyed some 20,000 hectares (49,421 acres) of rainforest.