It’s much easier to stop someone from lighting matches than set off a fire that covers a thousand acres

Astra Herald
August 16, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In Peru’s Sacred Valley, a community-led initiative is creating fire prevention brigades to stop devastating wildfires before they even begin. Peru’s Sacred Valley, the breathtaking landscape between Cusco and Machu Picchu, has always had a few conventional fire brigades, but anyone who has ever witnessed a bushfire will know there is little you can do once it takes hold. While there is a place for carefully managed burning – at the right time of year and in the right weather conditions it can clear land of brush and understory – reckless burns can be catastrophic. “Years of hard work can be undone in a single day,” says Joaquín Randall, who has set up the NGO Valle Sagrado Verde, a reforestation project planting native trees such as huaranhuay, chachacomo, molle and tara in the Sacred Valley. “2020 was a really bad year. One fire burned 20,000 replanted trees in one go. Another killed eight people.”

Read More