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Emission impact of wildfires: El Tepozteco 2016

Xochitl Cruz Núñez, Estefanía Bulnes Aquino


Wildfires impact both ecosystems and human welfare, being carbon monoxide and PM2.5 particles the most critical emissions affecting human health. The impact of a fire in the Tepozteco National Park, in the state of Morelos, Mexico was evaluated on its potential to produce health impacts on the surrounding inhabitants. Surrounding population centers are located at around 2000 m from the area affected by the wildfire, which occurred in a natural protected natural area. HYSPLIT simulations to estimate pollutant trajectories were conducted along with a dispersion simulation to determine pollutant concentrations as a function of distance to the centers of population. The results show that the inhabitants of adjacent communities were not subject to significant risk levels according to national and international regulations, because the dispersion trajectory of the pollutants did not impact such populations. In Mexico, it is necessary to prioritize prevention, monitoring, and mitigation measures of human-induced wildfires. It is recommended to increase the coverage of the monitoring network of Morelos to include the Tepoztlán Municipality, due to the high frequency of fires and the growing urbanization in the zone.


Dispersion of pollutants; wildfire; human exposure; emissions; Mexico

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