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Big Yunguilla fire controlled, Search for Cajas hiker suspended, Beware high UV levels

Big fire controlled in the Yunguilla valley

A wildfire that consumed several hundred hectares was brought under control Monday in the Pinchanillas area of the Yunguilla valley. The national risk management office said that extinguishing the flames required the work of firefighters from Cuenca, Nabón, Girón. Although no homes were affected by the blaze and there were no injuries, risk management officials reported that old-growth forests were destroyed and that wildlife, including Andean pumas that live in the area, were dislocated. Officials warned that more fires are likely due to dry season conditions.

Residents warned of high UV levels
High UV levels forecast.

Ecuador’s meteorology office (Inamhi) is warning residents of the central and southern sierra to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. “Levels of ultraviolet radiation are running at dangerous levels and we urge people living in the highlands to take precautions against the intense sunshine,” Inamhi said on Monday. “We urge the population is wear appropriate clothing, hats and sunglasses and to apply sunscreen when they are out in the sun.” Inamhi said that UV levels in southern Ecuador will be in the 8 to 12 range Tuesday and Wednesday. Readings of 8 to 10 are considered in the “high” range for UV exposure.

Search for Cajas hiker is called off

The month-long search for Cuenca hiker Wilson Serrano, 68, has been suspended, authorities announced Saturday. Serrano made a cell phone call August 5, saying he was off the trail and lost in Cajas National Park. Since then, dozens of park rangers and emergency personnel have scoured large areas of the park and nearby areas in search of Serrano but have found no trace of him. Following the announcement of the search suspension, members of the Serrano family thanked all of those involved in the efforts for his recovery.