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State forest firefighters recruited for upcoming season

Cancun, Q.R. — The National Forestry Commission (Conafor) is preparing for the upcoming forest season with the recruitment of 260 firefighters.

This year, Conafor will consist of 26 brigades for the state of Quintana Roo with a total of 260 fighters that will be on hand to fight the state’s wildfires.

Rafael Leon Negrete, Conafor manager, says that this year they will have 137 fewer fire fighters compared to last year when they took on the fire season with 397 fighters. He explained that for this season, the 260 firefighters will consist of residents of the same communities in which they reside.

He said that the new crews currently work in the municipalities of Othón Pompeyo Blanco, Bacalar, Tulum, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres and Lázaro Cárdenas.

The brigades joined as the official combatants of Conafor for prevention tasks such as creating firebreaks and prescribed burns in addition to other duties. The men fighting fires in these areas have been trained in preventative measures as well as combat and extinction of forest fires.

Last year was recorded as the third worst fire season in the country due to drought with nearly 8,500 fires around Mexico. This year is also anticipated to be a busy season as many regions, including the state of Quintana Roo, continues to see little rain with the anticipation of soaring summer temperatures.