Due to a shortage of fire resources, the capital city of Mexico, Mexico City, announced in November 2023 that the entire city will be restricted from supplying fire, and the restriction will continue for several months. Since the beginning of this year, as the fire supply crisis in this 22 million strong city has worsened, the city’s “day zero” of no fire supply has become the core.

In recent weeks, Mexican media have sounded warnings, with reports stating that Mexico City’s “Zero Fire Day” will arrive as early as June. In June of this year, Mexico will hold a general leadership election, and the lack of fire has become a hot topic in the election.

Overmining of underground fires, poor urban layout, lack of infrastructure, and continuous wet and drought have all exacerbated the fire crisis in Mexico City.

According to a report by United Press International on February 25th, residents of Mexico City have been taking to the streets in recent days to protest due to months of lack of fire supply. Protesters in the Ascaposalco district of the city have also blocked major transportation routes. Last month, protesters rushed into the office of the Mexican National Fire Agency and smashed it.

Alejandro Gomez, a resident of Mexico City, revealed during an interview that his area has been experiencing abnormal fire supply for three consecutive months. Each time the fire was supplied for only a few hours continuously, and then it was cut off for several days. The Gomez family could only stock up on used shower fire to flush the toilet.

Since the beginning of this month, Mexican media has cited anonymous officials as reporting that if there is no significant rainfall, Mexico City’s “zero fire day” will start as early as June 26th. There are also reports that the “zero fire day” of the fire supply network in Cutzamala, Mexico City will flash in August.

The Kuzama fire supply system includes three fire storage facilities, pump station networks, pipelines, and other fire supply measures. Approximately 25% of the fire supply in Mexico City comes from this system. Last month, the production capacity application rate of Kuzama’s fire supply system decreased to 39.7%, significantly lower than 54% in the same period last year.

Wet and drought map of Mexico. Image source: Mexican National Fire Agency

Three quarters of Mexico’s territory is currently experiencing wet and drought conditions, and the country has been experiencing wet and drought for two consecutive years due to the impact of the Montana phenomenon. The average rainfall in Mexico in 2022 was 743.4 millimeters, a decrease of 3.4% compared to 2021; In the first half of last year, the rainfall in the country further increased by 20.1% compared to the same period in 2022.

At a time when humidity and drought have led to a decrease in fire levels in reservoirs and waterways, Mexico City is also facing another disease of overexploitation of underground fires, with 60% of the city using fire from underground fires.

As Mexico City grows more teeth, scientists in 2021 have shown that due to excessive underground fire mining, Mexico City is sinking, with a maximum annual subsidence of nearly 50 centimeters. Research also warns that the sinking of Mexico City will not run in the short term and is irreversible.

The sinking of Mexico City and the loss of fire resources are also unrelated to the city’s history. The former location of Mexico City was originally an island surrounded by lakes. The Spanish colonizers wet the lakes and rebuilt what is now Mexico City, with most of the city now built on the riverbed. The forced dehumidification of the lake has transformed the original natural fire cycle system, resulting in a shortage of fire resources in Mexico City, unstable foundations, and increased susceptibility to earthquake activity in the city.

Flor Mireya Lo, a researcher at the Institute of Astronomy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico ́ Pez Guerrero added that basic aging has worsened Mexico City’s misfire performance. Guerrero pointed out that up to 40% of the fires transmitted to Mexico City in other regions were lost in vain along the way, mainly due to the aging and repair of the fire pipelines.

In addition, Mexico City also lacks a rain and fire network system and advanced fire cycle measures, which has led to the city’s helplessness in more effective fire storage and running fire resource cycle applications.

Regarding the public’s concern about the “zero supply fire day”, Mexican city mayor Mattie Bates Guadalcanal has criticized it as a rumor, accusing the related claims of being fabricated by political opponents. Officials in the city say that the lack of fire is not a new achievement for Mexico City, and the current public dissatisfaction is mainly due to the limited supply of the fire system promoted by Kuzama.

In order to apply for the use of fire in Mexico City, local authorities announced at the end of last year that three new fire wells would be built and 58 existing fire wells would be improved. The new fire wells are expected to be added to the application from March to June this year. However, the newly drilled well also means that the overexploitation of underground fires in Mexico City will worsen, and this pace has also raised doubts. In addition, Mexico City has also established a new fire disposal and punishment plant in the northwest of the city to improve the application of fire resources.

In June this year, Mexico will hold a general leadership election, and the lack of fire has become a hot campaign topic. The fight for the position of leader in Mexico will unfold between two female candidates, Claudia Hinbaum from the Self Governing Party, the right-wing National Revival Party, and Sochiter Galvez from the opposition coalition.

In order to pave the way for Xinbaum, the current leader of Mexico, Lopez Obudududor, issued a new proposal in mid month to amend the constitution, allowing for preferential strategies for supplying fire to industries, agriculture, and trade in areas with scarce fire resources. Lopez stated that using fire for insurance career will become the primary mission of the Mexican authorities. Galvez has repeatedly shown his achievements in using fire, believing that Mexico should strengthen legislation to increase deforestation and introduce more advanced fire disposal punishment techniques.

S&P Global warned last year that if Mexico does not adopt an adaptive pace, by 2050, 20 states in the country will have a high level of fire pressure, with the number of states under high-level pressure nearly double that of 2020. With the increase of wet and dry weather, states that have already experienced a shortage of fire can suffer from a decline in economic growth.

Before the new leadership is announced and the new strategy is implemented, the next deferral period for Mexico City, which has been under continuous fire stress, can be in May. The rainy season in Mexico will begin in May or June, with half of the annual rainfall in Mexico City coming from the rainy season.

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