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The National Forestry Commission says Cancun, Riviera Maya vulnerable to fires after damaging hurricane season

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The National Forestry Commission (Conafor) says the northern portion of the state of Quintana Roo is particularly vulnerable to forest fires. Conafor head Uriel Castillo Carvallo, says the northern region has a lot of dry plant material due to the October storms.

He explained that due to the tropical storms and hurricanes, a large number of trees were knocked down, that now, have become dry plant material that can easily catch fire.

“The northern zone is the one with the highest risk this season. It is considered a red zone due to the passage of hurricanes,” he explained in an interview with Radio Fórmula.

He said that the State Committee for Fire Management has five rural brigades, which are headed by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) and six “compensation” brigades in Othón Pompeyo Blanco, José María Morelos, Tulum, Solidaridad, Puerto Morelos and Lázaro Cárdenas, which will operate for six months with resources from Conafor (la Comisión Nacional Forestal).

Castillo Carvallo recalled that last year, a total of 68 forest fires were registered affecting 41,678 hectares with the most damaged areas in Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Benito Juárez, Puerto Morelos and Lázaro Cárdenas.

The agency says last week, there were 18 active forest fires in 10 states that kept 460 forest fire fighters busy combating flames. The active fires were registered in the State of Mexico, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Guerrero, Michoacán, Tabasco, Nayarit, Jalisco and Nuevo León.