Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – Hundreds of monthly fires due to illegal dumping have kept local fire fighters busy this summer.
Playa del Carmen fire brigades say that on average, they’re tending to 450 fires a month in Solidaridad. The combination of high temperatures and lack of rain has heightened fire hazards as excessive illegal dumping and burning continues.
Director of Solidaridad Fire Department, Horacio Moreno Trinidad, notes that another one of the biggest fire starters are negligent people who throw cigarette butts on the ground or out car windows into the extremely dry grasses and trees.
“Unlike last year, this year we’ve seen an increase in fires as well as an increase in clandestine dumps. We’ve had high temperatures and little rain. Add to this is the unconsciousness of people who throw cigarette butts and we have more fires,” he explained.
Vacant lots in Ejido have become common targets of illegal dumping especially in the region of Constituyentes and Avenue 90. He says that area has seen about six fires a week this year.
Moreno adds, “Citizens can help in two ways. First, they need to be more responsible about their waste. The roads where the illegal dumping occurs are shortcuts for many people and the garbage becomes a source of not only fire, but also infection. The second way people can help is to report any smoke they see to emergency 066 in a timely manner so fire fighters can intervene more quickly.”