Fire consumes 130 hectares in Chiapas biosphere reserve
POSTED April 10, 2019
Over 130 hectares of virgin pine and oak forest has been consumed by a week-long wildfire on the southern Chiapas biosphere reserve and national park of El Triunfo. The blaze started on March 26 at a remote mountainous region in the municipality of Mapastepec in Chiapas, Mexico, where fighting the fire was complicated by having to travel between five and seven hours to reach the area.
About 250 firefighters have been working for over a week to bring the blaze under control. As of April 3, it was about 90% contained. An official with the Commission for Natural Protected Areas (CONANP) said on April 2, that a military helicopter had been enlisted to transport personnel and to dump water on the fire–2,500 liters at a time.
Conditions during the current dry season have been worsened by the presence of a weak El Niño, a natural climate phenomenon triggered by warmer temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that can significantly affect weather. CONANP warned residents of mountain communities who rely on fire for cooking to avoid lighting fires if they are unable control them.