The risk of forest fires was high from the beginning of spring due to high temperatures and drought. However, despite the water stress, the season remained relatively calm during April and mid-May, which may reflect an increase in environmental awareness of the negative impact that fires have on communities and farmers in the area.
Due to a storm that brought electrical discharges, a fire started in the Cerro Prieto reserve. We immediately called the three levels of government institutions involved in the matter, as well as our personnel and other brigades: CONAFOR, CONANP, SEDEA, Mexican Army, Civil Protection, Firefighters from Jalpan de Serra, La Lagunita, Corregidora and Ezequiel Montes, CONAFOR Rural Brigades, personnel from the Landa de Matamoros City Hall, and the indispensable local volunteers. Neighbors from the communities of Lagunita de San Diego and Mesa de la Cruz, who with their knowledge of the terrain, were the best guides. Everyone's presence was necessary to maintain an operational force on site with interspersed rest periods. On some days there were as many as 120 fighters on the various fronts.
Fighting forest fires is undoubtedly a strenuous task, with a high health cost (due to the constant inhalation of carbon monoxide), and the inherent danger of direct firefighting. On the second day of firefighting we were on the verge of being trapped by large tongues of fire (15 to 20 meters high) that in a matter of seconds went from being a small, controlled fire to being blown out of control by the strong winds.
Although in some places the fire was of low intensity, in others it spread to the treetops and in those places it had a calcinating effect, leaving nothing after it passed through. The combatants had to evacuate on several occasions due to the risk of being trapped in the fire or in the dense smoke. Fortunately, there were no incidents to report and when it was finally under control after 12 days of fighting, two successive rain events occurred, which completely extinguished the fire.
The environmental authorities who were present at the fire were amazed by the degree of conservation of the Cerro Prieto reserve, where there is no trace of logging, in stark contrast to the neighboring properties, where illegal logging is rampant and very public.
The reserves under the custody of our staff are in good condition, however, we must not lose sight of the threats caused by global warming.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.Start a Fundraiser