Mexican Fires

Living on Earth

An area the size the state of Rhode Island is currently being ravaged by fire in southern Mexico and other parts of Central America over the past few weeks. And valuable biological diversity is burning up in it. Authorities say an El Niño related drought, and slash and burn agriculture are to blame for the fires. Winds have also blown a cloud of smoke and haze north, affecting the health of Mexican people and their nation’s economy. Guillermo (gui-yer-mo) Castillaja (cas-ti-yeh-ha) runs the World Wildlife Fund’s program in Mexico. He’s been monitoring the spread of the fires from his base in Mexico City. He spoke with Steve Curwood and explained how a rainforest can go up in smoke.

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