Forest fire in Mexico has charred 5,800 hectares in the state of Yucatan on Mexico's Caribbean coast, damaging the ancient cities of Chichen Itza and Oxtankah, the country's National History and Anthropology Institute (INAH) said on Sunday.
The INAH chief, Federica Sodi Miranda, said that the agency had already begun work to establish the fire's impact on the ancient buildings. She said that in Chichen Itza, which is 180 km west of tourist resort Cancun, fires had damaged a fourth century building which had not been completely excavated, where INAH anthropologists and archeologists had been working.
Fires also hit Oxtancah, the fourth century Mayan market city, around 9 km from Chichen Itza, damaging a building in the northern area.
The INAH will have to close some historical areas due to the forest fire, she added.
Fires began in the states of Yucatan and Quintana Roo in February. Authorities have registered 22 major fires in the Yucatan Peninsula.