ALBERTO AZCARATE VARELA
THE BAJA POST/NEWSROOM
This year a critical season of forest fires is expected, due to the conditions of the ENSO-La Niña meteorological phenomenon that apparently will continue until spring, according to the forecast of the National Water Commission (Conagua), reported the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) in a press release
This climatic phenomenon has caused low temperatures and little rainfall in most of the country, reducing humidity in forest areas, a situation similar to 2011. This atypical drought increases the presence and expansion of forest fires in Mexico.
According to Conafor’s weekly statistics, in the second week of February 2021, 499 forest fires were attended, 366 more fires than in the same period in 2020 when there was a record of 133. To face this situation, Conafor will hold an inter-institutional meeting in order to strengthen coordination, through shared responsibility between the three levels of government and rural communities.
At this meeting, he will present the National Fire Management Program 2020-2024 that establishes collaborative actions aimed at reducing the deterioration of forest ecosystems caused by the misuse of fire, since, according to his statistics, the human factor continues to be the main cause.
It should be noted that Conafor already has a Hazard Prediction System comparable to those used in the USA and Canada, which is based on the information provided by the National Meteorological System of Conagua and Conabio, which also considers the human factor in the incidence of fires, which results in data that contributes to a response capacity in the states, as well as in the municipalities, for the planning, prevention, detection, combat and control of forest fires.
It also takes cultural prevention into account and since January it has been carrying out physical prevention activities such as: fire cut gaps, black lines and prescribed burns that reduce forest fuels in states with the largest forest area.
For now, the population is being asked to take extreme precautions in the use of fire, since the human factor continues to be the main cause of fires, among which are agricultural activities, bonfires and badly extinguished cigarette butts, illegal activities, among others. Finally, the population is urged to report forest fires to 800 INCENDIO or 911.