Mexican fire fighters make progress in curbing wildfires

13:53, April 22, 2011      

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Fire fighters have gained the upper hand in containing forest fires in northern Mexico despite rain and hail, the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said the fire fighters have controlled over 85 percent of a fire near El Bonito and 65 percent of another fire near La Sabina, both in the state of Coahuila near the border with the U.S. state Texas.

Fires in Coahuila have blazed for the past month, affecting some 221,000 hectares and inflicting a record amount of damage, said Hernando Guerrero Cazares, head of Mexico's environmental prosecutor's office.

"We've never had an emergency of this kind in this century," Guerrero said.

"We've had extreme conditions and at the same time drought, intense rains, later freezing weather and then drought. This generates ideal conditions for forest fires," he said.

Environmental officials announced plans on Thursday to save wildlife affected by the fires. The government will distribute water and up to 200 tons of animal feed to the affected areas.

Source: Xinhua
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