A fire that already covers 200 hectares of mangrove forest in Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve, in Campeche, threatens to get out of control due to the difficult access for Civil Protection personnel, who have been fighting the fire since the evening of Monday April 15th.
José Alfonso Herrera Romero, head of the Directorate of Municipal Civil Protection, reported that the fire is located between the federal highway and the sea, where staff from that unit and other institutions came to monitor and determine its magnitude.
The firefighting work is in charge of members of the Conafor brigade, the Fire Department and Campeche’s state Civil Protection Secretariat.
Motorists on the Campeche-Mérida federal highway have difficulty driving through the thick curtain of smoke that significantly affects visibility.
Due to the difficult access to the area of the incident, state and municipal authorities are using drones to determine the level of damage to the mangrove protected area.
Damage is not yet quantified, but locals say that fishermen always light bonfires on that area, which could be the cause of the fire.
At this point in time, the fire is still not under control, it is evidently devastating flora and fauna of the Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve, and apparently it was initiated in the town of San Francisco Kobén.
Los Petenes Biosphere Reserve is a permanently flooded salt marsh with a high diversity of flora and fauna. The most representative ecosystems of the area can be found here such as seagrasses and petenes. Petenes are complex habitats of islands with varied vegetation that have made this Reserve a unique place in Mexico.
Some of the most important ecosystems are mangroves, lowland jungle, wetlands, salt pans, natural pools and springs. It is considered as an important area for the survival of reptiles, primates, felines, water birds, crustaceans and mollusks, among many others.
The biodiversity of Los Petenes is remarkable, with 473 species of flora, 678 higher plants and 434 species of fauna, 313 of which are birds.
SMT Newsroom with information from: