Scores of fires were burning in Mexico and Central America on 16 April 2003. This image from the ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite shows part of Mexicos Yucatan Peninsula and northern Guatemalawhere an especially high number of fires were detected (marked in red). Thehigh-resolution scene shows fires stretching northward into Mexico and southwardinto numerous Central American countries. Smoke plumes are drifting out overtthe Gulf of Mexico to the northwest. Beneath the smoke, the colorful swirls inthe water may be a mixture of sediment and marine plant life known as
Situation on Friday, 18 April 2003
The GFMC has noted that fire activities in the lowlands ofPetén, Guatemala, have picked up again. There are no press or CONRED reportsavailable, possibly due to Holy Friday.
Duringthe last emergency in Mrach 2003 the GFMC had forwarded the emergency situation reports to the UNEP-OCHA Joint Environment Unit, EmergencyServices Branch, Environment Emergencies Section (EES), FAO, the German Foreign Office, Office for HumanitarianAssistance, and the German Agency for Techncial Cooperation (Germany andGuatemala). GFMC had provided information to FAO Guatemala about procedures toinitiate a request through OCHA. Meanwhilethe FAO is negotiating with Guatemala on a Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP)in fire management.
Inaddition the GFMC had contacted the WHO concerning humanitarian assistance withregards to smoke pollution.
Earliersatelliteimages and other information of the fires in March 2003:
Health Guidelines for Vegetation Fire Events Information on protection of people from vegetation fire smokecan be found in the guidelines document. Please enter the document through theGFMC portal at:
Regional Mesoamerica Wildland Fire Network: Regional andnational widland fire status reports The website of the regional Mesoamerica network contains a largenumber of national and regional analyses on wildland fire, including thesituation in Petén, Guatemala:
Sistema Nacional de Prevención y Control de Incendios Forestales(SIPECIF)