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Sian Ka’an fire spreads to more than 6,000 acres

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A fire near Felipe Carrillo Puerto has consumed 2,500 hectares / 6,000 acres) of brush and other plants. Photo: Secretary of Ecology and the Environment

A fire in the Sian Ka’an nature reserve about 19 miles / 30 kilometers south of Tulum spread to more than 6,000 acres / 2,500 hectares, with just 30% under control.

The fire’s advance across the brush and high grass has slowed but continues to burn, said the Quintana Roo environment department. The archaeological ruins at Muyil, which was once an important stop along Maya trade routes, is closed until the danger passes.

Environment Secretary Alfredo Arellano attributed drought and heat to the blaze.

“This fire is taking place in a region of savannah that is very difficult to control because it’s basically high grass where the fire spreads rapidly,” he said on a local radio station.

More than 50 firefighters and a water-dropping Air Force helicopter are on the job.

The Sian Ka’an reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site that includes jungle, wetlands, coral reef and Mayan archaeological sites, in addition to pumas, monkeys and crocodiles.

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