Forest fires are thankfully a rare occurrence in our partnerships. But a prolonged period of dry weather in Peru has meant that for the first time in ten years, they are putting the forest at risk.
Fire is often used to clear land for growing crops but when vegetation is tinder-dry, it can get out of control. Recently these fires took hold in neighbouring communities and some have spread to villages in our Asháninka partnership.
The communities put everything into fighting the blaze, clearing fire breaks and extinguishing sparks for three days and nights. This hard work meant they contained it to small areas but nevertheless, some houses have been destroyed and plastic pipes that carry water from a local spring have melted.
A long overdue downpour means the risk of any more flare-ups has gone but there is a lot of clearing up and rebuilding to do. We already had some emergency water tanks, blankets, and medical supplies in place, and our Peru team is working with local government to secure more support.
The fires are a stark reminder of the risks that climate change presents to rainforest. It also reminds us of the lengths our partners will go to protect their forest.