The Air Force continues to support the extinction of forest fires in Mexico

The efforts of the military personnel in the town of El Canón and San Juan de los Durán, municipality of Jalpan de Serra, Gro., Continue to extinguish the fires in Mexico, which has affected 1,100 hectares between bushes and oak and shrub trees.

Image: Courtesy of
Image: Courtesy of

Currently, 94 soldiers provide support to the authorities of National Forestry Commission (Conafor) to try to extinguish the fire, by using an MI-17 helicopter, which has allowed 18 discharges of water, achieving suffocation of 70% of the sinister.

In these activities are added the efforts of the Civil Protection, Conafor and firefighters personnel, who due to the existing meteorological conditions of low visibility, it has not been possible to extinguish this fire completely.

The use of helicopters in helicopters MI-17 has been made from sea level to an altitude of 3,000 meters. This system has been used at heights between 20 and 40 meters, operating the flight material at speeds of up to 160 kilometers per hour, it has been found that operating up to a distance of 8 miles from the aquifer, 8 to 10 trips are made in an average of 2 hours.


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NASA captures fires in Mexico from satellites


The Fire Information System for Resource Management (FIRMS), which uses NASA satellites, showed what the current fires in Mexico look like from above.

The Fire Information System for Resource Management (FIRMS), which uses NASA satellites, shows active fires in Mexico. Satellite view of the fires around Mexico. Image: NASA
The Fire Information System for Resource Management (FIRMS), which uses NASA satellites, shows active fires in Mexico. Satellite view of the fires around Mexico. Image: NASA

NASA shared an interactive map showing the active forest fires in the world, in which Mexico was practically on fire. Mexico combats an atypical stage of forest fires that until Tuesday totaled 130, in 20 states, explained the Mexican forestry authorities. Of those 130 fires, 71 are active, 20 are in the process of liquidation and 39 were liquidated in the last hours. Of these, 11 are within protected natural areas.

Mexico combats an atypical fire season in 20 states

It was observed that Mexico concentrated most of the forest fires in America. The states with the most sinister record are Jalisco, Michoacán, Guerrero, Oaxaca, and Chiapas, although they are also registered in the State of Mexico and in Mexico City, which has seen the levels of pollution soar these days.

The National Meteorological Service also showed on Tuesday a map with heat sources related to forest fires, similar to that of NASA.

According to the National Fire Management Center, in 2019, until May 9, 4 thousand 425 fires have been registered in 30 states, affecting an area of ​​152 thousand 952 hectares.

The months of April and May meet the conditions to intensify the occurrence of fires in forests, forests and other ecosystems, due to heat, low water, lack of humidity in the environment and high concentrations of dry plant material. In addition to human action.

In Mexico City, from January 1 to May 9 of this year, the Mexican capital has registered 445 forest fires, which have affected an area of ​​2,772 hectares. The adult trees of the capital's forests remain intact since the effects are generally on herbaceous and shrubby vegetation.

With these figures, the entity ranked third in the occurrence of forest fires nationwide, just below the State of Mexico that reports 1,174 fires and Michoacán, with 464 fires.

Valley of Mexico under pollution

The fires in the capital and in the neighboring State of Mexico caused higher pollution than usual in the Mexican capital during the last four days. Only last past weekend, in Mexico City there were 16 forest fires, 15 of them already liquidated, and one active in the forested town hall of Magdalena Contreras, in the south of the city.

The Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis (Came) declared the situation of "extraordinary environmental contingency" in the Metropolitan Zone of the Valley of Mexico due to the high concentration of particles suspended in the air due to the hundreds of fires that the center of the country suffers and the situation meteorological type.

The activation occurred immediately after the last measurement was made at 05.00 local time, when a value of 158 points of the Air Quality Index was registered for PM2.5 particles (less than 2.5 micrometers).

The robots that can detect forest fires in Mexico

At the top of five towers surrounding the Forest of La Primavera, in Jalisco, five robots that at first glance look like simple security cameras, are given the task of meticulously detecting any forest fire incident. These devices belong to the company Robotics Galu, a technological firm that works with forest fire detection systems which foresee that with its use, it could reduce the problem of these incidents.

"We visualized and in fact we did an analysis and with 65 robots approximately we could have an 80% protection of the Valley of Mexico. This we would like to see, this technology applied completely and that is as an insurance for the population and to avoid that it continues to be contaminated," says Fernando Arana, spokesman for Robotics Galu in Forbes Mexico.

Since a few weeks ago, Mexico City and some other regions such as the State of Mexico have been threatened by a wave of forest fires that, apart from consuming hectares of forests and green areas, have triggered environmental contingency warnings by the polluting particles that emanate. However, for the manager, the use of these technological tools could reduce the problems caused by forest disasters.

On what Mexico City and other regions that have been affected by these incidents currently need, Arana mentioned that it is important to know that these robots will solve the detection part, but without the help of society and the authorities, this will not work.

"It is very important to know that this technology solves the part of detection, however, if they do not interact or ignore, they will not attack the fires, there is no commitment to the actions taken by the robot or the detections because the robot is not going to help. On the one hand, it is the commitment of the authorities for the timely attack. At the end of the day, you no longer need to invest in so many attacks resources".

How these robots work

"When we process the detection, we send an alert to civil protection, people from the environment to the people involved, they can check it from their cell phone, from their iPad or monitoring center, this time they gain with this timely detection is It is not the same as a small fire that you only need to send a brigade and it is controlled in half an hour. We have seen that in cases with bigger fires you have an environmental contingency, you have to be fighting with the fire, between two and five days, you have to invest in helicopters, tank trucks, those battles in economic matters are extremely expensive."

These teams are installed in the forest, in the jungle or in the area to be protected, on top of a tower where a study of the area is previously made to see how the coverage will be and what it is going to be observing. . It has small thermal sensors that as soon as they detect a change in the radiation as a fire source, register it immediately. The equipment can detect five kilometers of fire signals. On its cost, Arana mentions that it is variable since it is necessary to first carry out an analysis of the area to see if the infrastructure for its installation exists.

"It's very similar to a normal surveillance camera, what makes it special are the thermal sensors, the software and the algorithms that it has inside, that's why it's a robot and not just a camera, because only as a camera will it show you what you are looking at but does not detect, cannot determine if it is a false alarm or is positive, with our system you can determine the sources of fire and which are not sources of fire".

More countries use them

These robots are installed in six countries which is equivalent to approximately 40 robots installed worldwide. There are in China, Indonesia, South America, among others.

"We also have a robot installed in the Nevado de Toluca, with Probosque, they are the ones who manage the forests on the outskirts of the Valley of Mexico, we approach them as they are very interested in technology, we have been working for a few months. We already have six robots in total, five in La Primavera and one in Nevado, the latter installed at the beginning of April for the fire season, in fact it was the main purpose and right now He has already made his detections and work and we are only waiting for the results and analysis of Probosque".

The company seeks that the authorities and society find in the use of technology a solution so that these losses can be controlled.

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