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2nd fire at Sian Ka’an linked to poachers

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Firefighters at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve use helicopters to control another conflagration there. Photo: Sema

Chetumal, Quintana Roo — Poachers are blamed for a second fire at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere nature reserve.

The blaze has spread across 827 hectares / 2,000 acres, mostly savannah and brush, in 12 days. It is reportedly 60 percent under control.

The conflagration, centered on the Uaymil area, could remain active for at least another week, according to the National Forestry Commission (Conafor).

Conafor’s leader, Román Uriel Castillo Carballo, said that the fire is similar to the one that started Aug. 1, following another in July.

Conafor sent 86 firefighters, as well as four technical specialists from Chiapas, and two special brigades from Yucatan and Campeche, in addition to 12 crew members from the National Defense Secretariat.

Because of the fire’s remote location, firefighters have been reaching the site by helicopter. Flames are headed toward the mangrove area, where it is expected to go out.

Investigators have discovered paths in the brush presumedly left by poachers searching for white-tailed deer. They blame the poachers for setting the fires, whether by accident or otherwise.

The nature reserve, south of Tulum, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with jungle, wetlands, coral reef and Mayan archaeological sites, in addition to pumas, monkeys and crocodiles.

Source: La Jornada Maya

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