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State of catastrophe declared in Guatemala's Peten province due to wildfires


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Guatemala's government on Saturday declared a state of catastrophe in the northern province of Peten, the cradle of Mayan civilization and one of the last green lungs of the Americas, due to wildfires that have destroyed 8,000 hectares (31 sq. miles) and put an additional 200,000 hectares (772 sq. miles) at risk.

The decision was made during a Cabinet meeting called by Vice President Jafeth Cabrera, who is standing in for President Jimmy Morales during the latter's visit to Havana for the Summit of the Association of Caribbean States.

Cabrera said it was "regrettable" that some of the fires that were endangering protected areas of La Laguna del Tigre and the Tikal Archaeological Park had been caused by humans.

The U.S. and Mexican governments have offered to supply water bombing helicopters, fire-extinguishing chemicals and food for the fire-fighting teams.

At least 100 forest fires have been detected in Peten, a province with an area of 35,854 sq. kilometers (13,840 sq. miles) that borders Mexico and Belize, presidential spokesman Heinz Hiemann said. EFE

Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2016/06/04/state-catastrophe-declared-in-guatemala-peten-province-due-to-wildfires/

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