10 fires flare up daily in hot, arid Yucatan

Flareups increase before rains return in June

Brush fires increase in Yucatan when the climate becomes hot and dry in late winter and early spring. Photo: Punto Medio
Brush fires increase in Yucatan when the climate becomes hot and dry in late winter and early spring. Photo: Punto Medio

Merida, Yucatan — Firefighters are responding to up to 10 reports of accidental fires every day, said Enrique Alcocer Basto, state Civil Protection (Procivy) coordinator.

Amid “fire season” on the Peninsula, citizens are asked to avoid burning garbage. Flames can get out of control or generate a false alarm, civil protection officials said.

Fire season in Yucatan runs from March 1 to the end of May, when the state at its hottest and most arid. Sixteen brigades have been deployed with 192 fire fighters. More than 215 hectares burned in 2018’s fire season.

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The fire period is followed by rainy season, which traditionally starts in June and ends in October, overlapping with hurricane season.

The flareups are mainly brush fires, he said. Calls are often related to burning garbage, a habit that continues all year long in some neighborhoods.

“Most of the reports are happening in the center and west of the state, an area that is drier. However, incidents have also been taking place in Valladolid, Tekax and sometimes in Tizimín,” Alcocer Basto said.

Three fires have been significant, but have all been extinguished. One was in Tekax, in the Nohalal area; another was in El Corchito, Progreso; and the other was on the Mérida-Motul highway, which scorched several hectares of grass.

Farmers in the south and southeast of Yucatan organize controlled fires to clear their fields. The official implored agricultural workers to keep civil protection authorities in the loop and to watch over the burning brush.

Source: Punto Medio

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