Oaxaca, Mexico — Agricultural burning and prolonged drought are believed responsible for the first five forest fires of the year.
The director of the State Forestry Commission, Aarón Juárez, said that the first fire was registered in the Los Ibañes area in the municipality of Santa María Atzompa, where brigades came to quell flames that affected 10 hectares of grasslands.
The second occurred in the La Mona area, owned by the San Martín Mexicapan agency in the metropolitan area of the city of Oaxaca de Juárez, which damaged five hectares.
He says 30 hectares was destroyed by a third fire in Santo Domingo Yanhuitlán in the Mixteca region, where the presence of community brigade members was reinforced. However, the 30 hectares of grassland and shrubs still burned.
The fourth forest fire was registered on the San Pablo Etla hill in the El Terrero area, where brigadistas teamed up with community members and local authorities to eliminate the fire that damaged eight hectares of grasslands.
The fifth forest fire, which remains active, is reported between the towns of Xacañi and Tiltepec. Community and state brigades continue to work on controlling flames, which has affected a wooded area.
Aarón Juárez said “the agricultural activities are setting us on fire in the forest, which generates explosive fires,” adding it seems necessary to restrict agricultural burning since the fires are only getting out of control.