Friday, June 21, 2024

Forest fires trigger air quality alert in Guadalajara area

As three wildfires in Jalisco continued to blaze Monday and into Tuesday morning, the state Environment and Territorial Development Ministry (Semadet) declared an air quality alert on Monday night for the municipalities of Guadalajara, Zapopan and Tala.

“It seemed like we had woken up in a city filled with fog,” María Fernanda Solís, a Guadalajara resident, told Mexico News Daily. “The smell was so strong I had to close all the windows in my house,” she added. 

According to authorities, two of the three wildfires had been contained by Tuesday afternoon. (@EnriqueAlfaroR/Twitter)

Schools stayed open — but had to cancel all outdoor activities.

Two of the fires were extinguished as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Semedet, and air quality is expected to improve throughout the day, according to the governor.

However, throughout Tuesday, Semadet encouraged the population to avoid all outdoor activities, use face masks outdoors, avoid smoking, drink plenty of fluids and close doors and windows to prevent pollutants from entering homes and buildings.

On Tuesday, Jalisco Governor Enrique Alfaro also tweeted that César Uriel “P,” 26, was detained by Zapopan police on the highway to Saltillo last night as a suspect in setting the fires.

According to the newspaper El Informador, when detained, the suspect was in possession of a flammable substance in a container as well as several lighters.

Fires in Guadalajara are frequent at this time of year, and according to local authorities, are mostly caused by arson or negligence.

In 2021, after seven fires broke out in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara, Alfaro claimed that those blazes were lit simultaneously and deliberately to “destabilize” Jalisco. 

With reports from El Informador

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