Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX

by Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda I.A.P
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX
Train Local Brigades to Fight Forest Fires in MX

Thank you for supporting this campaign! In an effort to condense the number of  campaigns we manage, we are shutting down this campaign. We still will manage local fire fighting brigades, but those donations will be managed through our “Protecting Wild Cat Habitats” campaign. You can find that link campaign here: You can find more details at the previously mentioned link. We also elaborate on our future plans below.

As part of the forest fire prevention and firefighting activities in the Sierra Gorda for 2020, we have carried out the following activities with the entities involved in fighting forest fires:

  • SWOT workshop (Strengths, Opportunities, Weaknesses, Threats) with the different actors and agencies involved in fighting forest fires in the northern third of the State of Querétaro (CONAFOR, CONANP, Civil Protection, City Councils, SEDEA, Voluntary Firefighters, GESG) and to map out a course of action and strengthening needs for 2020.
  • An interview with the Secretary of Agricultural Development of the Government of the State of Querétaro, Carlos Dobler, to propose the creation of two new fire fighting brigades in the Sierra Gorda and to be ready to operate in 2020.
  • An interview with the Secretary of Sustainable Development of the Government of the State of Querétaro, Ing. Marco del Prete, so that the Secretariat provides financing for the equipment of existing and new brigades. A complete proposal was presented.
  • Integration of proposal for brigade operated by the same GESG to the World Land Trust, which would be based in the community of Valle Verde and would have as its mission the rapid and immediate attention to any fire, in particular for the protection of private reserves that we guard. We are considering to contract 10 persons for this brigade, fully equiped and trained.
  • Interviews with the Municipal Civil Protection Directorates, regarding their training, training and equipment needs.
  • Maintenance of access trails in private reserves, which are essential for agile fire-fighting and serve as firebreak breaches.
  • Coordination with Ejidal authorities of the neighboring state of San Luis Potosi (Sierra de Xilitla) for joint attention to forest fires in the state limits.
  • Follow-up with the State Attorney's Office for Environmental Protection and Urban Development of the Government of the State of Querétaro regarding the criminal charges filed with the Attorney General's Office of the Republic for changes in land use and fire use (origin of the great forest fire of this year) as they constitute federal crimes, until the alleged arsonists are held responsible. This would set a very important precedent for preventing fires next year.

Gracias por apoyar esta campaña! En un esfuerzo por condensar el número de campañas que gestionamos, estamos cerrando esta campaña. Seguiremos gestionando las brigadas locales de extinción de incendios, pero esas donaciones se gestionarán a través de nuestra campaña "Protegiendo los hábitats de los gatos salvajes". Puedes encontrar la campaña aquí:

Como parte de las actividades de prevención y combate de incendios forestales en la Sierra Gorda para el 2020, hemos realizado las siguientes actividades con las instancias involucradas en su combate:

  • Taller FODA (Fortalezas, oportunidades, debilidades, amenazas) con los diferentes actores y dependencias involucradas en el combate de incendios forestales en el tercio norte del Estado de Querétaro (CONAFOR, CONANP, Protección Civil, Ayuntamientos, SEDEA, Bomberos Voluntarios, GESG) y trazar ruta de acción y necesidades de fortalecimiento para el 2020.
  • Entrevista con el Secretario de Desarrollo Agropecuario del Gobierno del Estado de Querétaro, Ing. Carlos Dobler para plantear la creación de dos nuevas brigadas de combate en la Sierra Gorda y estén listas para operar en el 2020.
  • Entrevista con el Secretario de Desarrollo Sustentable del Gobierno del Estado de Querétaro, Ing. Marco del Prete para que dicha Secretaría aporte el financiamiento para el equipamiento de las brigadas existentes y las nuevas. Se presentó propuesta completa.
  • Integración de propuesta para brigada operada por el mismo GESG al World Land Trust, que tendría como base a la comunidad de Valle Verde y tendría como misión la atención rápida e inmediata a cualquier conato de incendio, en particular para la protección de las reservas privadas que custodiamos.
  • Entrevistas con las Direcciones de Protección Civil Municipales, y sus necesidades de entrenamiento, capacitación y equipamiento.
  • Mantenimiento de senderos de acceso en las reservas privadas, que resultan esenciales para el combate ágil a los siniestros por fuego y sirven como brechas cortafuego.
  • Coordinación con autoridades Ejidales del vecino estado de San Luís Potosí (Sierra de Xilitla) para la atención conjunta a incendios forestales en los límites estatales.
  • Seguimiento con la Procuraduría Estatal de Protección al Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo Urbano del Gobierno del Estado de Querétaro a las denuncias penales que la misma presentó ante la Fiscalía General de la República por cambios de uso del suelo y uso del fuego (origen del gran incendio forestal de este año) al tratarse de delitos del fuero federal, hasta que se consiga fincar responsabilidades a los presuntos incendiarios. Esto sentaría un precedente muy importante para prevenir incendios el año entrante.
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Graph of Fire Incidences
Graph of Fire Incidences

Here at the Sierra Gorda Alliance, we are committed to protecting the Earth every day. We have been busy training fire brigades to combat forest fires, which are worsened by climate change and illegal logging, but we still need your help to fund our action plans and prepare for next year.

Since the catastrophic fire this past May, which was finally controlled by the coordination between different government agencies and strong support from local volunteers and civil society, we gave ourselves the task of creating a solid action plan for the next season in 2020. Climate change, increasingly erratic rain patterns, and more aggressive fires, are all some of the biggest threats to the integrity and permanence of local ecosystems, their biodiversity, and the well being of the communities in the Sierra Gorda. Clearly fires are becoming a major element of global destruction and is an after effect of climate change, as is clear from the catastrophic fires this year in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Greenland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain (notably the Canary Islands), Greece, Congo, Angola and Indonesia among others. 

It's because of all this that we have given ourselves the task of establishing strategic guidelines that will allow for better defenses and control of forest fires. In order to properly diagnosis the problem and to create a plan of action for the following year, we will be collaborating with the National Forestry Commission of Mexico (CONAFOR), the National Commission on Natural Protected Areas (CONANP), and the municipalities of the region, on which the Civil Protection Offices of the counties depend. 

Personnel from our brigade as well as Ejidatarios (communal landowners) and members of their own fire departments, attended the Basic Course for Forest Combatants (CBCF) given by CONAFOR and CONANP personnel in the city of Jalpan de Serra. The more people that are trained, equipped and ready to fight these disasters effectively, the less damage and environmental cost they will have.

 Below is a more detailed action plan. As always, we appreciate your help and helping us protect this land:

Action Plan Items
Action Plan Items
Action Plan Items
Action Plan Items
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Fire raging / El incendio
Fire raging / El incendio


 (Desplázase hacia abajo para ver el texto en español)

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our project to improve forest fire prevention and control in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve!

This project was prompted by a recent, devastating fire in the Sierra Gorda. Raging for three weeks, it affected over 3,250 hectares, home to endangered species such as jaguars, orchids, salamanders, margays, and ocelots. By destroying vegetation, the fire caused over 106,000 tons of CO2e to be released into the atmosphere.

Roberto Pedraza Ruiz writes, “The White-Fronted Parrot is one of the many endangered species affected by this big forest fire, especially considering that they were in the middle of their nesting season and had to leave their nests and chicks behind. They shared those forests with many other endangered species, from jaguar to margays, and the impact on biodiversity is difficult to measure.

The fire was probably provoked. It quickly got out of control and began to expand rapidly due to strong winds, high temperature, and dry forest conditions following a severe drought.

Many of the fire’s fronts were in remote and difficult to access areas. Federal funding cuts to the National Forestry Commission significantly limited federal firefighting resources. So although official firefighters, organized fire brigades, and volunteers all came together to combat the fire, it was only two weeks in that enough manpower was mobilized, including 7 helicopters, to finally control the blaze.

We are responding to this emergency to make sure that it does not repeat itself. We want to hire, equip, and organize local fire brigades to continually patrol the reserve, maintaining fire breaks and immediately responding to outbreaks. We cannot afford another such tragedy to hit the Sierra Gorda. Are you with us?


Estimados amigos,

¡Bienvenidos a nuestro proyecto para fortalecer a la prevención y combate a los incendios forestales en la Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra Gorda!

Este proyecto fue motivado por un reciente y devastador incendio en la Sierra Gorda. Durante tres semanas, afectó a más de 3.250 hectáreas, hogar de especies en peligro de extinción como jaguares, orquídeas, salamandras, márgenes y ocelotes. Al destruir la vegetación, el fuego provocó la liberación de más de 106,000 toneladas de CO2e a la atmósfera.

Roberto Pedraza Ruiz escribe: “El Loro Corona Blanca (Pionus senilis) es una de las muchas especies que fueron afectadas por el incendio, máxime ahora que se encuentran nidos activos y tuvieron que dejar ahí a sus pollos. Compartían esos bosques con ocelotes, margays, ajoles, salamandras, e incluso jaguares. El costo ambiental del incendio será difícil de evaluar y ponderar. El carbono emitido, ejemplares calcinados, las áreas donde la regeneración tomará años y las cadenas tróficas rotas es algo que no tiene fácil reparación. El tiempo dirá."

El incendio probablemente fue provocado. Se salió de control y comenzó a expandirse rápidamente debido a los fuertes vientos, las altas temperaturas y las condiciones del bosque seco después de una grave sequía.

Muchos de los frentes del incendio se encontraban en áreas remotas y de difícil acceso. Los recortes de fondos federales a la Comisión Nacional Forestal limitaron significativamente los recursos federales para combatir incendios. Por lo tanto, aunque bomberos oficiales, brigadas de bomberos organizados y voluntarios se juntaron para combatir el incendio, pasaron dos semanas para que se movilizara suficiente mano de obra, incluyendo a 7 helicópteros, para poder controlarlo.

Estamos respondiendo a esta emergencia para asegurarnos de que no se repita. Queremos contratar, equipar y organizar brigadas locales para patrullar continuamente la reserva, mantener las brechas de cortafuegos y responder de inmediato a los siniestros. No podemos permitir otra tragedia semejante en la Sierra Gorda. ¿Estás con nosotros?

Fire brigades working - Brigadas trabajando
Fire brigades working - Brigadas trabajando
Fighting the fire - Combatiendo el incendio
Fighting the fire - Combatiendo el incendio
What we are protecting - Lo que protegemos
What we are protecting - Lo que protegemos
White-Fronted Parrot - Loro Corona Blanca
White-Fronted Parrot - Loro Corona Blanca
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Organization Information

Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda I.A.P

Location: Queretaro - Mexico
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @SierraGorda
Project Leader:
Laura Pérez-Arce B
Queretaro , Queretaro Mexico

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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