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Peru: Kuelap archaeological site closed due to forest fire

14:00 | Chachapoyas (Amazonas region), Aug. 6.

Peru's Culture Ministry announced on Tuesday the temporary closure of the Monumental Archaeological Zone of Kuelap in Amazonas region after a forest fire erupted near the famed site.

In a press release, issued this morning, the ministry warned the fire is burning close to the pre-Incan archaeological complex due to the wind and weather conditions reported in the past few hours. 

"To do so and to safeguard the integrity of domestic and foreign visitors, the Ministry of Culture announced a closure of the Monumental Archaeological Zone of Kuelap will occur on Tuesday, August 6. However, its reopening to the public will be subject to the corresponding evaluation of safety conditions," the document stated.

Moreover, the Ministry of Culture reported that over 120 people are working in the area, including brigade members of the National Civil Defense Institute (Indeci), personnel of the Peruvian General Volunteer Firefighters Department (CGBVP), members of the Peruvian Army, the National Police (PNP), and the Municipality of Tingo.

In the incoming hours, two highly specialized teams will be arriving in the affected area. 

These units are made up of professionals from Decentralized Culture Directorates based in Cusco and Lambayeque regions, and will reinforce firefighting, control, and wildfire suppression efforts in order to avoid damage in the archaeological zone.

According to the release, Culture Minister Luis Jaime Castillo will reach the area in the coming hours to coordinate directly with Indeci chief Jorge Chavez.

Finally, the Ministry of Culture, through its Regional Emergency Operations Center (COES-Culture), continues monitoring the emergency and maintains close coordination with Amazonas' Decentralized Culture Directorate, the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN), COES-Mininter, COES-Minsa, as well as regional and local authorities, so as to safeguard the country's cultural heritage.

(END) NDP/MAO/RMB/MVB

Published: 8/6/2019
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