Mexico Burning: Over 3,000 firefighters battling wildfires in 20 states

The National Forestry Commission (Conafor) reported that 78 forest fires continue in the country, and 10 of them were recorded in protected natural areas.

In its official Twitter account @Conafor, the agency reported that up to this year, 116 forest fires were recorded in 22 states of Mexico in this year, and 19 of them are in the process of being liquidated and an equal number were controlled.

There are currently 3,159 firefighters working to combat the raging wildfires.

Gustavo Sánchez Valle, president of the Mexican Network of Forestry Organizations, reported that Mexico has statistical records of forest fires for almost 50 years, which allows them to track the behavior of this phenomenon each year. However, they are statistics that need to be updated with new indicators that allow to objectively measure the severity of the incidents.

He emphasized that the 2019 season of fires is “benign” and that unfortunately, only with the current environmental contingency in Mexico City, attention was paid to the problem.

Sánchez Valle added that since 1970 an annual fire season is evaluated by the number of incidents and the area affected in that period. The information allows estimations of damaged vegetation, but does not record the tons of carbon dioxide that is emitted into the atmosphere.

On Monday, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (NASA) shared an interactive map showing the active forest fires in the world, in which Mexico was practically on fire.

The states with the most record fires are Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Chiapas, although they are also registered in the State of Mexico and in Mexico City, which has seen the levels of pollution soar these days.

Meanwhile, the National Meteorological Service also showed on Tuesday a map with heat sources related to forest fires, similar to that of NASA.

According to the National Fire Management Center, which depends on the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat), in 2019, until May 9, 4,425 fires have been registered in 30 states, affecting a surface of 152,952 hectares.

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