Guatemala Fire Emergency Assistance Request, 27 June  2001

Fire Activities in Mexico 

12 May 2003

New Satellite Image:

Fires in Mexico and CentralAmerica
Fires continue to burn all across Mexico and Central America on 09 May  2003.This true-color ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aquasatellite shows active fire locations marked with red dots. Smoke blankets theregion and extends northward over the Gulf of Mexico, southward over the PacificOcean, and eastward over the Caribbean Sea. 

Source: MODIS



The widespread and intense biomass burning ocurring on the Yucatan Peninsula and other parts of Central America is producing high concentrations of carbon monoxide (CO) in the lower atmosphere, as shown in this image of observations by the Measurements of Pollution in The Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite. This false-color image shows the mixing ratios of CO at an altitude of about 3 km (700 hPa) averaged from April 25 to May 1, 2003. Gray areas indicate where no data are available.The highest mixing ratios are seen over the Yucatan Peninsula and over the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Carbon monoxide levels as high as 360 parts per billion by volume of air (red pixels) were measured. The orange and yellow pixels indicate high levels of CO over the countries south of Guatemala—Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. The pollution is also being carried northeastward over the Gulf of Mexico toward the U.S. gulf coast states and the western parts of the Caribbean.Images from the MODIS instruments aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites show the locations of the numerous fires across the region during this same time period as well as the thick, widespread pall of smoke they produced. 

Source: NASA/EO



Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize in this MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) image from the Aqua satellite, captured on 07 May 2003. Smoke (indicated by the yellow arrows) is visible extending over the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of Honduras.

Source: OSEI


Fourdie as heat wave sparks forest fires in Mexico
12 May 2003

Mexico,12 May 2003 – Four volunteer firefighters died this week in forest fires causedby a severe heat wave that has swept Mexico, authorities said.

Fires inseveral states across Mexico have destroyed at least 150,000 hectares (370,500acres) of forest, jungle and pasture according to official figures.

Temperatureshave surged to between 40 and 44 degrees Centigrade (104 and 111 degreesFahrenheit) in the northern states of Coahuila and Tamaulipas, central San LuisPotosi and in southern states such as Campeche, Yucatan and Chiapas. Thegovernment has declared 82 municipalities in the southern states of Oaxaca,Campeche and Chiapas “disaster zones”. “Three federal entities(states) were declared in disaster and we will assess the damage so we canassign natural disaster funds,” Carmen Segura, coordinator of thegovernment’s National Civil Protection System, told Reuters. Segura said fourpeople died fighting a fire caused by the heat in Oaxaca. No one has died fromdehydration or other direct effects of the heat, according to Civil Protectionand the Health Ministry. In 2002 some 200,000 hectares (acres) were destroyed byfires. Experts say the heat wave and dry atmosphere caused by the climaticphenomenon “El Nino” could continue until August, and that more firescould wreak further damage. “If the rains arrive late we could see theeffects of drought and other consequences for agriculture,” said Segura.This week Mexico City, home to some 18.5 million in the wider metropolitan area,registered near record temperatures of 33.5 degrees Centigrade (92 degreesFahrenheit).  Authoritiesacross the nation have issued recommendations urging Mexicans to drink a lot ofliquids. Mexico’s biggest farming body said its members were experiencingproblems irrigating their crops since the 137 main dams contained scarcely 20percent of their capacity. 

Story byGabriel Moreno, REUTERSNEWS SERVICE



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