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Monday, September 26, 2022

Out-of-control fire rages through Valladolid garbage dump

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Fires are common in Yucatán between March and May, and the problem only seems to be getting worse every year. Photo: Courtesy

A large fire that broke out Sunday morning continued to burn today despite the efforts of city and state fire departments. 

The tightly packed garbage dump is also releasing toxic fumes.

“We would certainly welcome help from nature in the form of a good rain right about now,” an unidentified firefighter told Diario de Yucatán

Given the distance of the dump from the city proper, the amount of smoke making it to the city of Valladolid has been limited. 

A large amount of burning rubber from tires is making the smoke even more dense and noxious than it would otherwise be, according to firefighters. 

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but high temperatures combined with a lack of rain over the past couple of weeks are surely a contributing factor.

It has also not been ruled out that the fire could have been ignited by accident by the spread of flames of a nearby field, as it is currently “burning season” in Yucatán.

Earlier: Air quality likely to suffer, as the agricultural burning season starts

Controlled agricultural fires in Yucatán are regulated by the state’s rural development agency but are often carried out without proper authorization or supervision. 

Farmers in many parts of the world set fire to cultivated fields to clear stubble, weeds, and waste before sowing a new crop. 

Critics of the practice argue that although it is fast and cheap, it is not sustainable as it produces large amounts of particle pollutants and can over time reduce the fertility of the soil.

State authorities have reported more than 600 fires in Yucatán since April.

Another large fire was reported this weekend in the municipality of Tecax.

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