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Mexico kicks off 2024 forest fire season

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The National Forestry Commission has officially kicked off the 2024 forest fire season across Mexico. Dozens of Coordinación Nacional de Protección Civil (CNPC) officials along with National Forestry Commission (Conafor) personnel met yesterday.

Federation, states and municipalities met to coordinate efforts to prevent and combat forest fires during the 2024 season.

Laura Velázquez Alzúa, head of the CNPC, lead the Thursday National Civil Protection meeting. The meeting was attended by personnel from across the country.

Velázquez Alzúa said the meeting was held “with the aim of coordinating the effective response of the three levels of government to guarantee the safeguarding of the population and reduce the impact on forest ecosystems caused by alterations in fire regimes.”

All photos: Comisión Nacional Forestal February 29, 2024.

During the meeting, which was highlighted by the participation of the General Director of the Conafor, Luis Meneses Murillo and Morelos Governor Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo, details were provided about the task force, technical resources available and extensive reviews of response protocols. A

Representatives of the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena), Secretary of the Navy (Semar), National Guard (GN), National Water Commission (Conagua), National Commission of Protected Natural Areas (Conanp) and heads of the 32 state Civil Protection units throughout the country, attended.

At the meeting, Velázquez Alzúa said during 2023, Mexico recorded 7,611 forest fires which were attended to by 315,540 combatants of the federal government belonging to Conafor, Sedena, Marina and Conagua.

She said that during 2023, 84 percent of the fires were controlled and extinguished in less than 72 hours. Likewise, 11 percent of the cases required up to seven days to be resolved, while only five percent required more than a week to reach 100 percent settlement.

The most affected regions in terms of area were Jalisco, Chihuahua, Guerrero, Nayarit and Durango. However, the highest number of fires was recorded in Jalisco, State of Mexico, Mexico City, Michoacán and Chihuahua.

Velázquez highlighted that, according to Conafor, more than 95 percent of forest fires are the result of human activities.