This year, 6 forest firefighters lost their lives in the country.
On August 22, 1873, in the Port of Veracruz, the first Fire Department of Mexico was formed. In commemoration of that time, every year is celebrated the tragahumos by saving hundreds of lives in their work.
The creation of the first Mexican Fire Department is accompanied by the arrival of the railway in Mexico, 423.7 kilometers long. In 1873, Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, president at the time, inaugurated the railroad that traveled from the capital to the Port of Veracruz. In that year, the governor of the entity ordered the creation of what was called the “Volcanic Fire Department of Veracruz”, the first group of Vulcans in all of Mexico.
At that time, Veracruz and its most important cities were considered part of the most outstanding cultural and commercial centers of the country. For example, in 1881, the painter José María Velazco reproduced on his canvas the Métlac Bridge, in Orizaba. During that same year the “Veracruzana Exhibition” was inaugurated, where agricultural and artisan products were exhibited, to artistic works from all over the country and even abroad.
After the explosion in Av. Coyoacán, a firefighter from Mexico City rescues a dog safe and sound (Photo: @Bomberos_CDMX).
Some years later, on December 20, 1887, the first fire station was installed in Mexico City, which occupied the Accounting Office of the Treasury, which today is located on the side of the National Palace that is located on the street of Moneda.
Today, in Mexico City alone there are 12 fire stations – one per mayor’s office. At the national level, firefighters have not only stood out for their services in large cities but also for venturing into Mexican forests to quell the fires that marked 2021. While doing their job, 6 forest firefighters have died this year.
According to the National Forestry Commission (CONAFOR), the climate crisis has triggered phenomena such as droughts, which are increasingly intense and prolonged, turning the soil of Mexican forests into fuel, in addition to lengthening periods of fire risk. This is why this institution classifies the fires in Coahuila and Nuevo León as a “human oversight. “
Civil Protection elements fight a forest fire in the town of Tepoztlán, in the state of Morelos. (Photo: EFE / Tony Rivera)
These climatic changes have caused an increase in the intensity and duration of the fire seasons in Mexico and the world. To combat the fire that hit the national territory during the first half of the year, more than 20 thousand forest firefighters participated, ranging from firefighters to owners of forest land, communities, and ejidos that defend their heritage from the flames and brigades rural.
Compared to 2020, this year the number of fires in the country increased by 12%. This also happened, according to CONAFOR, due to the meteorological effect called “La Niña”, as it is called when the surface of the Pacific Ocean cools, causing a decrease in rainfall.
In addition to the celebration of Firefighter’s Day every August 22, July 11 marks the National Day of Wildfire Fighters. Last month, CONAFOR delivered around 96 statuettes to thank the personnel who helped fight 6,224 fires that affected an area of 559,393 hectares.
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Also inside the CONAFOR headquarters, in Zapopan, Jalisco, 6 plaques were placed to honor and remember the fallen combatants in their work. Their names are:
– Pedro Rueda González , Conafor fighter in the State of Mexico.
– Rafael Martínez Martínez , owner of forest land in Michoacán.
– Ezequiel Navarrete González , volunteer from the private and social sector of the state of Jalisco.
– Noé Moreno Juárez , volunteer from the private and social sector of the state of Puebla.
– Mauricio Hernández Piñón , municipal combatant in Michoacán.
– José Armando Mora Mendoza , municipal combatant in Michoacán.