Firefighters are currently fighting a massive fire on the mountain above the Inca historical sites of Tambomachay and Puka Pukara.
Yesterday, not knowing exactly where there fire was burning, I went up there to do some filming and discovered the entire north mountainside blackened from fires. Fortunately, the fires had not descended all the way down and were not threatening the ruins.
Please note that the mountains in the photo below is not in shadow. The black part is the mountain side that was completely burned.
Indeed, the fire appeared to be out as there was no smoldering smoke coming up anywhere when I arrived and as I hiked down the valley back towards Cusco.
You can see in the photo below that the most easternmost point of fire showed no smoke at all rising from anything still burning or smoldering.
About an hour later, though, I noticed the smell of smoke in the air and looked back to see the valley filling with smoke. As I climbed up out of the valley, I was able to look back and see smoke coming from behind the mountain and in a small canyon that was not yet visible.
Very quickly the fire became apparent as it moved over the ridge and down the mountain driven by strong winds. Fortunately, it seemed to slow down significantly once it descended about 200-300 meters.
I couldn’t see anyone fighting the fire, but considering the speed that it was moving, that was probably the right choice for the safety of the firefighters.
At the time, the winds were not blowing the fire in the direction of the nearby village of Yuncaypata.
The Peruvian military is currently using two aircraft including one helicopter capable of carrying a specialized water bucket which holds 600 liters of water at a time and a plane capable of dropping 3000 liters of water.
Sadly, another fire is reportedly burning near the site of famous site of Tipón south of Cusco.