Monterrey, Nuevo León — A forest fire that has been raging for 10 days has quadrupled in size and is generating smoke that can be seen in the US state of Florida. The fire, which is burning in the Sierra de Santiago protected area, continues to spread out of control.
Due to the thick smoke and poor air quality, the state has activated an environmental alert. Protección Civil Nuevo León says the fire intensified during the early hours of Friday due to strong winds, which caused an increase in the concentration of pollutants.
“The extremely bad air quality level has been reached according to the Air and Health Index, in 13 of the 14 stations of the Comprehensive Environmental Monitoring System,” the agency reported. They noted that the dense smoke has spread 2,000 kilometers over the Gulf of Mexico, reaching Florida.
In a statement, the government of Nuevo León said they have 10 helicopters working and two more arriving. “They have the necessary personnel to combat it. However, it has not been possible to work normally in the affected area due to the strong winds,” adding “unfortunately, the damage has quadrupled, but they have been successful in saving the entire population of those areas.”
The fire has seen the evacuation of people from 15 communities. The government of Nuevo León says approximately 500 elements of the Civil Force, the Army, the National Guard and the Municipal Police are working to combat flames in the area.