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Residents of Chiquilá continue to help battle out-of-control wildfire

Chiquilá, Q.R. — State authorities continue to work to battle a two-day wildfire in Chiquilá. Extremely dry conditions and strong winds have made battling the fire extra challenging.

The fire started Sunday morning and quickly grew, threatening homes and businesses. Area residents battled the fire themselves Sunday, but have since requested help due to the its size.

The fire started Sunday morning on a private plot of land. Photo: May 12, 2024.

Forest firefighters are now on their second day of trying to contain the fire that started near the Chiquilá-Kantunilkín highway.

José Luis Marcial Toto, former councilor of the Port of Chiquilá, reported that volunteers are helping emergency personnel to stop the flames from crossing the road and reaching a gas station.

Municipal Fire Department Director Alejandro Erosa Betancourt said that during Monday, firefighters from the National Forestry Commission (Conafor) arrived to begin damage control.

Several homes are now being threatened since they are in the vicinity of the growing fire.

Homes are now being threatened by the fire. Photo: Coordinación Estatal de Protección Civil de Quintana Roo May 12, 2024.

The smoke that is being generated by the burning brush can be seen for kilometers, including from the Holbox ferry dock.

Thick smoke can be seen for kilometers. Photo: Coordinación Estatal de Protección Civil de Quintana Roo May 12, 2024.

In a statement, State Civil Protection (Coordinación Estatal de Protección Civil de Quintana Roo) said “in response to the fire registered in the community of Chiquilá, in the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas, the State Coordination of Civil Protection reports that joint and coordinated efforts are being made to contain and extinguish the fire.

“The call is reiterated to citizens in general to avoid the start of forest fires, avoiding throwing cigarette butts, throwing garbage on the sides of the roads as well as throwing glass bottles that can generate the magnifying glass effect.

“There is also a call to report any forest fire to the emergency number 911 in order to act promptly.”